Upstate News

January 15, 2003
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

2002 CNY Children’s Miracle Network fundraising campaign raises record-breaking $1,000,100 for University Hospital

The Central New York Children’s Miracle Network officially closed its 2002 fundraising campaign Dec. 31 with a record-breaking $1,000,100 to benefit children who receive their medical care at University Hospital in Syracuse. It marks the first time the organization topped the $1 million mark in an annual fundraising effort. Children’s Miracle Network is part of the Upstate Medical University Foundation at Syracuse.

According to Children’s Miracle Network Director Toni Gary of University Hospital, given today’s economic climate it is somewhat astounding that so much was raised in one year.

“Given the overall economy, we were pleasantly surprised when our final tally showed that we surpassed the million dollar mark,” said Gary. “This tells us that our supporters have made the children of Central New York a priority.”

Gary attributes the success to the continued interest of the Children’s Miracle Network local and national supporters, such as McLane Northeast, bringing in $110,000 to this year’s campaign, local Wal Mart stores with a 20 percent overall increase in their fundraising, and to the “Horses on Parade” community fundraiser that added $27,575 to the Children’s Miracle Network coffers.

“We were fortunate to be named one of three primary beneficiaries of the ?Horses on Parade’ campaign,” Gary said. “The ?Horses’ campaign not only helped our organization financially, it also created greater community awareness and support of our cause.”

University Hospital treats all types of disorders including cancer, heart and muscular diseases, birth defects, cerebral palsy, AIDS and accident victims.

“The pediatric team at University Hospital takes pride in treating the whole child, rendering services based on need,” said Joe LaLonde, III, vice president of store merchandising for Kinney Drugs and chair of the local Children’s Miracle Network Advisory Committee. “This philosophy is one that helps us when we ask our local and national sponsors for financial support. Our Children’s Miracle Network donors respond well to this philosophy.”

In the past five years alone, Central New York’s Children’s Miracle Network campaigns have raised a combined total of $4,457,647 with each year’s total steadily surpassing that of the previous year. The 2001 Campaign closed with a total of $921,495.

“Children’s Miracle Network funds help to create pediatric services, purchase medical equipment and supplement research funding for childhood diseases and medical disorders at University Hospital,” said Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at SUNY Upstate Medical University. “For example, funds have been used to develop a regional network to improve the care of children in emergency departments in hospitals within our 19-county service area.

“They have also funded distance technology allowing cardiac specialists at University and Crouse hospitals to evaluate and diagnose children in rural areas,” Pezzi continued. “This translates into our ability to offer children the opportunity to receive world-class medical care close to their home and close to their loved ones.”

The most visible activity of the organization is the Children’s Miracle Network Broadcast, aired annually on WIXT NewsChannel 9. The Children’s Miracle Network’s national telethon has become the most successful telethon in history. Nationally, the Children’s Miracle Network, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, has raised more than $2 billion throughout its history. The 2003 Children’s Miracle Network Broadcast is scheduled to air Sunday, June 1.

Children’s Miracle Network represents a network of 170 hospitals for children, including University Hospital.

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