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Press Releases

Holy Name Medical Center Employees Raise $69,000 For Hospice Care During Single Event

Date: 6/22/2011

Homegrown, staff-driven initiative inspires entire organization

Teaneck, NJ - Picture this: Four registered nurses are inspired by their organization's mission and the work of Villa Marie Claire, Holy Name Medical Center's residential hospice facility in Saddle River. They want to raise money for the cause. But they have no budget and nothing more than church and school fundraising experience. How to raise a truckload of bucks with no resources while working full-time and managing their families?

Recalling the old adage, "Where there's a will, there's a way," Holy Name Medical Center nurses Linda Giordano, RN; Mary Canciani, RN; Eileen Esposito, RN, BSN, CEN; and Johanna Marto, RN, organized a tricky tray-style fundraiser called "Hope 'N Healing for Hospice" that raised $68,983 for Villa Marie Claire using the time-honored techniques of cultivation, solicitation, marketing, and old-fashioned ingenuity.

"We can't think of another hospital whose employees have undertaken this kind of project and achieved these kinds of results," noted Ms. Giordano.

Minimal overhead; maximum profit

This year's Hope 'N Healing event, which took place on June 3, is actually the second tricky tray to benefit hospice. The same group of women organized a similar evening in 2009, in which they raised over $30,000. Never did they anticipate more than doubling their previous take.

"After that first tricky tray, Holy Name employees kept asking when we were going to have another, that it was the best they've ever experienced," said Ms. Canciani. So by fall of 2010, Hope N' Healing for Hospice II was in the works. According to Ms. Marto, queries went out to several hundred merchants, emails and articles were circulating throughout Holy Name on a regular basis, and an adult and youth volunteer force was assembled. More than 300 high-end prizes and gift baskets-ranging from leather totes, linens and housewares; to mountain bikes, a gas grill and trips to tropical destinations-were donated by individuals, Medical Center departments and physicians, and local businesses.

The committee kept overhead to a bare minimum and generated 100% profit on ticket and raffle sales by holding the event in the Medical Center's own Marian Hall Conference Center and making the night a "bring-your-own" experience. All 430 guests-employees, their friends and families-provided their own food, beverage and paper goods.

Why it means so much

"We chose to fundraise for Villa Marie Claire because we truly believe in our cause," explained Ms. Giordano, who extended a special thank you to Dr. John Poole, Director of the Department of Surgery at Holy Name, for his advice and support. "We all understand that hospice may touch us or connect each and every one of us at some point during our lifetime. We all may walk different paths but, in the end, we are all on the same journey: to end our lives the way we lived-with love, respect and dignity."

Ms. Esposito added that she and her co-workers aspire to be "good leaders for our peers, set good examples for our children and continue to support our hospital and its worthy causes."

Holy Name Medical Center's Villa Marie Claire opened in January of 2011 on a 26-acre estate in Saddle River, NJ. A residential hospice unlike any other in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, the Villa's elegant, homelike ambiance is in direct contrast to the sterility of a hospital and traditional clinical settings. In conjunction with pain and symptom management, Villa Marie Claire offers a broad range of integrative therapies that allow patients to experience comfort, pleasure and peace. Everything about the Villa-the family-focused philosophy, an interfaith/intercultural educated healthcare team, and inn-like overnight accommodations for loved ones-speaks to a profound belief that quality can be achieved at every stage of life, no matter an individual's medical diagnosis or physical and cognitive abilities.

For more information about Villa Marie Claire or to make a referral, call 201-833-3188 or email vmc@holyname.org. Persons interested in donating to the fund established to support the innovative programs and services of Villa Marie Claire may call 201-833-3105.



Holy Name Medical Center nurses Mary Canciani, RN; Johanna Marto, RN, Eileen Esposito, RN, and Linda Giordano, RN, inspired the Holy Name community to raise almost $69,000 for hospice care during a single tricky tray event.