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Crystal Ball donors share vision of future hospital

April 29, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

Business leaders, bankers and industrialists all were "Running for the Roses" on Saturday at the 13th annual Crystal Ball, galloping neck and neck along with Washington County Hospital employees, auxilians and private citizens.

The finish line is a new regional medical center in Washington County.

"We're hoping for between $100,000 to $125,000 this year," said Robert Rankin, co-chair of the sponsorship committee this year and every year since the Crystal Ball began.

All of the businesses he contacted were very supportive this year, Rankin said. Some contribute by buying ads, others give items for the auction and many give money.

Rankin said his committee targets businesses that do business with Washington County Hospital.

Linda Hovis, president of the Washington County Hospital Auxiliary, said her 391 volunteers pledged $1 million to the new hospital three years ago and are well on their way to achieving that goal through the many auxiliary fundraisers, including the annual Tree of Lights campaign, book fairs, uniform sales and others.

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Dr. John Newby, chairman of the Crystal Ball, said hospital employees alone have put in about $500,000 toward the new hospital, all from small contributions.

As for the Crystal Ball, Newby described it as a fun way to raise a chunk of money.

In addition to the live auction, there was dinner and dancing.

Maureen Theriault, director of public relations for the hospital, said the Crystal Ball raised $400,000 in the past three years for the hospital's nursery.

In previous years, funds also were raised for prenatal health care and the child advocacy center, Theriault said.

The Crystal Ball was hosted by Antietam Healthcare Foundation, a private, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and subsidiary of Washington County Health System Inc.

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