Wonders can be accomplished

 

A local news item last week meant the assurance of a much-needed
facility as well as a shining example of what many good-hearted
people working together toward a desirable goal can achieve.
A local news item last week meant the assurance of a much-needed facility as well as a shining example of what many good-hearted people working together toward a desirable goal can achieve.

It was announced Thursday night that a donation to the Northside Convalescent Hospital made earlier in the day by the Hazel Hawkins Hospitals’ Auxiliary had surpassed the $250,000 needed with a surplus of $6,000.

Because the hospital district has promised to match the $250,000 dollar for dollar, it means the efforts of Caring For Our Community assure that more than a half-million dollars will be available for the necessary renovation of the old SunBridge Skilled Nursing Center, which closed a year ago because it was not showing a profit.

At that time, many people raised a cry of protest because its closing meant that the residents had to be taken to similar facilities outside the county. That meant great inconvenience to the families of the residents but also meant that San Benito County had been reduced to only 55 beds for those who require continual care.

No one remembers who first said, “Let’s do something about it,” but many people with that attitude came together to figure out a way to renovate the old facility and put it back into local use.

It was determined that at least $500,000 would be needed to repair a leaky roof, restore the plumbing and make repairs to the interior. To ease the pressure on the fund-gatherers, the Hazel Hawkins Hospital District said, “If you can raise $250,000, we’ll put up the rest.”

The hospital foundation, under the chairmanship of Jim Sleznick, got behind it and selected Barbara Nicoara to head the committee.

The auxiliary, headed by Maureen Sweet, made the first donation, as it was to make the last. The fund campaign committee members went out to the public to explain why it was necessary.

Many approached did not have to be convinced and wrote a check right away. Others thought about it for awhile before making a donation, and the total grew through the final months of 2002 and into the new year. By the first week in February, $222,000 had been reached.

There are many people who took part in the campaign in one way or another but those most visible seem to have in common adeptness in dodging the limelight. They prefer to call attention to their colleagues’ efforts.

So, a year after the closure of the old facility, money has been raised to renovate it. Bids on the renovation will be solicited soon with an eye to beginning work this spring. It could be completed by this fall and in operation soon after that.

There is a lesson implicit in this: If a group of concerned and selfless people decide to amend an intolerable situation and win public support, wonders can be worked. We have just seen it happen.

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