With the Fulton County Hospital's new facilities in the final stages of construction, one local group has begun planning multiple fundraising events with all proceeds going directly towards supporting the hospital and community.
The Hospital Foundation, formed in 2007 and made up of eight members from Izard, Fulton and Sharp counties, will be meeting April 16 to finalize plans for their donation rooms and political rally.
"We're doing this for the community because ultimately, helping the hospital is helping the community," Trena Spears, Foundation board member, said.
The Hospital Foundation was founded as a non-profit organization and all proceeds earned by the foundation go to providing necessary items such as furniture, scholarships or medical assistance for unpaid bills, among other types of equipment. Spears had served on a hospital foundation board before moving to Salem. Once in Salem, Spears wanted to ensure that citizens of the local counties would have the opportunities a hospital foundation offers to the community it serves.
These fundraisers are examples of the services the foundation wants to provide.
The donation rooms will be a way for donators to not only benefit their local hospital but also to commemorate a loss or honorable person or loved one.
"People can just buy a plaque because they want to. It doesn't matter what their particular reason," Spears said.
The fundraiser consists of donators purchasing a plaque that, depending on the amount donated, will go in a specific room in the hospital. Prices of the plaques range from $2,500 for a plaque to hang in a waiting or dietary room, to $500 which will purchase a plaque to hang in a non-clinical or patient room.
A Wall of Fame will be located at the emergency room entrance of the new hospital where donators can purchase plaques ranging from $250 to $50. In this case, the size of the plaque and content will determine the price. Spears said size specifications will not be known until the meeting on April 16 to finalize the plans for the fundraiser.
A political rally is set to take place on April 21 at the Miller-Hickinbotham building and will be a fundraiser where donators and interested citizens can come, buy a $5 plate of ham, corn bread, beans and dessert and listen to the candidates speeches about their personal positions and goals. After the speeches, the candidates will each hold a brief question and answer session.
Although the foundation doesn't endorse or support any particular candidate, it will be supporting community outreach to and for the candidates running for local offices. Spears also said that she is not certain which candidates will be attending the rally although she has contacted several.
"I don't want to commit any candidates to coming ... We're hoping they all will," Spears said.
Local support will be a defining factor in the success of the new hospital and the hospital foundation seems to be doing its part.