Beginning last week, the residents of our operating authority should have received our annual “Coming to the Rescue Campaign” mailing. This is our most significant fundraiser of the year, and I cannot begin to express how important it is that each and every member of the community donate for this essential service.
As our volunteer membership continues to decline, it has become necessary to fill those voids with career staff to ensure that our service continues. Unfortunately, this has caused a tremendous burden for the organization and, in fact, has caused us to operate with a deficit for many years.
This would never be apparent to the public, as there has never been an interruption in service. Some may believe that SAVES is funded from tax dollars from the municipality. Although this is true to an extent, SAVES is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, independently operated.
SAVES does have a tremendous relationship with the towns of Skaneateles and Spafford, both of who have been gracious enough to support us with money from discretionary funds. The remaining funding is largely made up of third party billing revenue and general contributions.
The critical need for support this year is greater than ever, and we are pleading that each and every member of this community realize that we are an absolute essential service for the continuance of pre-hospital emergency medical care.
Rest assured that in the event you or your friends and family need us we will be there for you. Please be there for us. Thanks for your support.
Jeff VanBeveren is SAVES executive director.