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SUNY Upstate thanks area schoolchildren for raising more than $130,000 for children's hospital project

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - More than 120 schools and student groups across Central New York raised more than $130,000 for the Central New York Children's Hospital campaign. To acknowledge that support, SUNY Upstate Medical University brought more than 50 schoolchildren, teachers and parents to campus today (Dec. 2) for a thank you from administrators and to receive an update on how the money raised will be used to help build the children's hospital.

Campaigns such as Immaculate Conception School's Pennies From Heaven and Cicero-North Syracuse's Pots-for-Tots fundraiser provided students with unique ways to raise money for the children's hospital. The Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Girls Track team raised money with each team victory and C.W Baker High School held a Battle of the Bands concert.

"We were overwhelmed by the support from schools all across Central New York," said Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at SUNY Upstate Medical University. "We especially enjoyed watching all the interesting and varied ways students supported the campaign."

SUNY Upstate officials say they want to build on the relationship with these schools by involving them in some of the programming for the children's hospital, perhaps featuring student artwork in the hospital, inviting drama groups to perform and developing various health and research programs for students.

The campaign recently topped its $15 million goal with a $6 million naming gift from B. Thomas Golisano, a Rochester-area businessman. Construction on the children's hospital is expected to begin early next year.