July 28, 2010
KCH honors employee participation in Kane Area Relay for Life

On Wednesday, July 28th, Kane Community Hospital (KCH), an affiliate of Hamot Health Foundation, held a celebration to honor employee participation in the Tenth Anniversary of the Kane Area Relay for Life.

The celebration began in the Gardens at KCH where J. Gary Rhodes, CEO of KCH and Mark Papalia, Director of Operations grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for hospital staff. 

In his remarks to those gathered for a pre-luncheon ceremony, Rhodes commented that it was a most appropriate place to remember and to celebrate the many triumphs of cancer research and care.   The Gardens at KCH were created after the loss of long time nurse Patti Zook (who suggested gardens at the Hospital) after her courageous fight with cancer.  After her passing, many more KCH colleagues followed, Rhodes noted, remembering each and the toll cancer has levied on the Hospital and throughout the Kane Area.  

Rhodes reminded team members and staff that KCH’s involvement with the American Cancer Society’s  signature event --  Relay for Life -- began over ten years ago when the Hospital hosted the organizing meetings and KCH employees assisted and even chaired the overall event.  KCH employees have shared their cancer experiences at Relay events and otherwise inspired the community.  Each year KCH has had at least one Hospital team with other staff leading or members of other teams. 

Rhodes then honored this year’s team – the KCH Kaleidoscopers, Captain LuAnne Larson, Co-captain Cindy Salerno and 14 additional members for their "top team" finish for the past two years.  He acknowledged the year long dedication of raising money for a cure and local patient care and services and the individual and team contributions of each.  2010 team members include: Clara Paul, Amy Peterson, Dawn Keesler, Andrea Thompson, Autumn McCanna, Sherri Peterson, Mary Jo Hannold, Helen Heasley, Patti Koza, Don Farnsworth, Sue Singer, Ruth Gentilman Peterson, Marsha Keller, Ronda Feronti. 

Larson led the team to their “top team” finish for the last two years with her strong leadership and organizational skills and her commitment to the cause.

He recognized three other KCH employees who this year captained or co-captained other teams at the Kane Area Relay  – Sue McAlee, Laurie Menteer and Kellie Ely -- and noted that Ely and Ruth Peterson served also as chairs for Team Retention and Publicity respectively for the Kane Area Event. 

The luncheon celebration took place not only in Kane at the hospital but also at KCH’s community clinics in Mt. Jewett, Johnsonburg, Ridgway, and Sheffield.  Hot dogs and hamburgers were grilled by Rhodes and Papalia, packed by the dietary team with pasta salad, baked beans and cake/cookies and delivered by KCH Directors to the clinics in grateful appreciation for the commitment of KCH employees in donating their time, talent and money to the 2010 Kane Area Relay for Life. 

The KCH Kaleidoscopers raised $14,227 in more than three-dozen fundraising projects or events held throughout the year.

The combined total of all teams for 2010 Kane Area Relay exceeded $71,000.  Forty percent of the money raised goes to research for a cure, the other 60% stays in the local community for local patient care and services. 

KCH recently donated a room at the Hospital and built cabinetry and storage creating a space of comfort, light and privacy for an American Cancer Society (ACS) Wig Room as part of the local patient services.  Clients are assisted with choosing a wig and helped by local beauticians in shaping and trimming the piece to client's preferences.  Those in the Kane Area needing wigs during chemo are referred to the ACS Wig Room at the Hospital.

Today the Gardens at KCH stand “in memory” and “in honor” of healthcare workers who dedicate their lives to the healing arts.  During the ceremony water from the fountain donated by the Zook Family in Patti’s memory cascaded down the sides.  In the Gazebo in the background, CEO Gary Rhodes and Director of Operations Mark Papalia are grilling hot dogs and hamburgers prior to the luncheon and celebration.

KCH Relay participants and fundraisers gather for recognition presentation.
Standing l-r are Andrea Thompson, Captain LuAnne Larson, Mary Jo Hannold, Marsha Keller, Sue McAlee; seated Patti Koza, Sherri Peterson, Amy Peterson, Kellie Ely, Autum McCanna, co-captain Cindy Salerno.  Not pictured but also recognized were:  Clara Paul, Dawn Keesler, Helen Heasley, Don Farnsworth, Sue Singer, Ruth Gentilman Peterson, Laurie Menteer, Ronda Feronti.

KCH employees milling, listening to CEO Rhodes, and enjoying a beautiful day in the gardens.