Fair Day pays off for Grace Cottage Hospital

Friday November 2, 2012

TOWNSHEND -- All those ice-cream cups, auction bids and celebrity dunks apparently added up.

Grace Cottage Hospital’s auxiliary has presented a $48,000 check to the Townshend health care facility. The donation consists of proceeds from the one-day Grace Cottage Fair held in early August.

A portion of that money will go toward renovations at the Grace Cottage inpatient rehabilitation facility and at the hospital’s cafeteria.

"This will be a wonderful addition that will impact patients and their families and employees," said Andrea Seaton, Grace Cottage’s planning and development vice president.

The fair has been taking over Townshend Common for a summer afternoon for more than six decades. Its importance as a hospital fundraiser was illustrated at last week’s meeting of the Grace Cottage auxiliary, where Seaton discussed three uses for the fair revenue:

-- $23,000 will help pay for a new, 1-ton pickup truck equipped with a plow and a lifting tailgate. This will allow maintenance staff to handle snow removal, salting and sanding on their own and in a more timely manner, administrators said.

The hospital’s current truck is "12 years old, and it’s got a lot of mileage on it," she said. "It’s the workhorse of the hospital."

Grace Cottage has applied to the Holt Fund for another $23,000 to complete the truck purchase.

-- Another $19,000 from the fair will fund renovations at the inpatient rehabilitation gym. Administrators have consulted with occupational, physical and speech therapists about needed improvements there, Seaton said.

"It will give them more space, and it will give patients more space," she said.

-- The final $6,000 will fund "acoustic upgrades" in the hospital’s dining room.

"The acoustics in that room are so bad, and nobody can hear themselves think," Seaton said. "It’s not good for the patients and their families."

Both of the renovation projects are supported by design work donated by architect Charles Bergmann of South Newfane, Seaton added.

Also last week, Effie Chamberlin was named the hospital’s auxilian of the year.

Chamberlin chairs the fair day’s auction and was a longtime employee at Grace Cottage, holding positions including staff nurse, charge nurse, assistant director of nursing and director of compliance, quality improvement and risk management.


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