Tyrone Hospital Tree of Light Campaign growing in new direction

The fact is that one out of two people who live in the Tyrone area use the emergency room at the Tyrone Hospital each year. Even more impressive is that nearly one in every four undergoes some type of surgical procedure there annually.
The translation: People definitely use the facility.
One local volunteer group is hoping these are the people that will step up and help raise some necessary funds to help that establishment provide the best health care it possibly can.
Back in March 2001, the Tyrone Hospital Development Councilwas formed with two goals in mind: To promote the healing mission of the hospital and to help raise money for capital improvements.
Through fundraisers, both big and small, the committee has worked wonders. And now, it’s at it again.
“We’re trying to do something a little different this year with the annual Tree of Light fundraising drive,” said Randy Miles, chairman of the THDC. “We’re looking to the business community to help spread the word of our needs and help us raise some funds for a very important need of the hospital.”
That need is to move the CT scanning equipment into the hospital facility itself. Currently, the equipment is located in the Diagnostic Center some 30 yards away from the hospital – a chilly and stressful journey for patients needing the service in the cold of winter. Miles said the move, including construction, would cost in the neighborhood of $60,000.
“We have a great business community here in Tyrone that’s really supportive of our hospital,” said Miles. “Now, we hope those businesses will work along side us and help spread the important words that it’s their employees and the people who walk through their doors that use the hospital.”
The brunt of the campaign was the selling of paper angels and lights that were placed on a tree at the hospital. At a cost of $5 per light, donators were able to scribe the names of anyone they wished upon an angel to honor persons living, in memory of a loved one or to recognize a business.
“We have to emphasize that this is not a strictly faith-based event,” he said.
Last year, most of the funds raised during the campaign came from two important sources: The hospital community and the Tyrone Area School District.
“The Tyrone School District is really the reason why we chose to take the route through businesses this year,” said Miles. “They came out of nowhere last year and signed on with us.”
Miles said the district decided to hold a dress-down day, which, at a cost of $5 each, employees were allowed to toss the tie or dress in the corner and slap on a pair of jeans and a T-Shirt and come to work.
“We thought this was a great idea,” said Miles. “It was a spur of the moment thing and they raised quite a bit of money for us. We figured similar events throughout the business community was the way to go.”
Miles said a number of business have already “signed on” to the program and a good number of others have expressed their interest.
“It could be a dress down day, a donation box sitting in the entrance of their establishment or even a Tree of Light of their own,” he said. “Whatever they want to do to help is appreciated. We definitely have the businesses to make this campaign work.”
Despite the push for local businesses to get into the act, Miles said individuals are still able to purchase the gift of life. He said to contact either him at his Pennsylvania Avenue office at 684-7603; Theresa Yanchetz, public information director, at 684-1255, ext. 539; or make donations payable to The Tyrone Hospital Development Council, Tree of Light, Attention: Marketing Office, One Hospital Drive, Tyrone, PA 16686.
“A lot of people use the hospital for a variety of reasons,” said Miles, “and it’s important to the entire community that this hospital continues to grow.”
This year’s Tree of Light campaign kick-off is scheduled for Dec. 2 at the hospital.
“But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until Dec. 2 to start helping with this campaign,” he said. “Shared goals build unity.”