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B'ville Rotary club has big hearts and big givers

The Baldwinsville Rotary Club may be small in size, but they certainly are not small in giving, according to Don Zorn of Upstate Medical Hospital Foundation.

The local club recently fulfilled a $10,000 pledge towards the Golisano Children's Hospital, a gift that places them in the top three percent of donors. Zorn and his associate, Bob Marzella (associate administrator of hospital planning) visited the Rotarians during their weekly lunch meeting on Wednesday April 30. While there, Rotarian Jacqueline Olmsted presented the pair with the remainder of the club's pledge ($6,000) as she was instrumental in getting the project started.

Golisano Children's Hospital is part of a larger project formerly known as the Vertical Expansion at University Hospital in downtown Syracuse. Construction is close to complete on what is now known as the East Tower. The new facility will offer a burn center, poison center and trauma center. The H-shaped addition sits atop the intensive care unit, operating rooms and emergency rooms at the hospital.

"It has been a construction challenge for us," Marzella said.

Known as the hospital within a hospital has six stories with 300,000 square feet and 209 private rooms. The children's center is on the 11th and 12th floors, which connect to the freestanding facility known as the Tree House, a two-story atrium with a private entrance through an elevator (the trunk of the building). The Tree House features a family resource center, an elf-magic room with theater, stage and gaming area, a caf (c), a dining center with kitchen plus a sleeping area with showers and laundry for families. There is also an exhibit space, garden room and chapel.

In 2005, representatives of University Hospital were guest speakers at the Baldwinsville Rotary where they discussed the proposed Golisano Hospital project. Having been personally effected by children's illnesses, whether children, grandchildren or other relatives, many of the Rotarians felt strongly about helping this cause and that's when they decided to pledge $10,000. Total donations from Rotarians within Rotary District 7150, which includes Baldwinsville, have been more than $50,000.

Zorn said there have been 7,562 donors as of April 30. For more information about or to make a donation to the Golisano's Children Hospital, visit upstate.edu/gch.

The Baldwinsville Rotary Club meets at 12:15 p.m. every Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church in the village.

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