By The Post-Journal
A donation from the 38th Italian American Charity Golf Association of $50,935 will benefit WCA Hospital’s Cancer Care Program.
The money raised will support the WCA Hospital Endoscopy program for the diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer. This donation is the second installment of a three-year pledge that will be utilized for Endoscopy equipment. Since making this commitment, the IA has raised $113,935 toward the project.
Betsy T. Wright, WCA president/CEO praised the IA committee and the community for their ongoing support for local, award-winning cancer care. “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the Italian American Charity and deeply grateful for this wonderful donation. Thanks to the support of the IA and their generous contributors, we are able to purchase state-of-the-art Endoscopy equipment which will benefit the quality of our patients’ care for many years to come.”
“I believe, as does the Italian American Charity Committee and our supporters in the great work at WCA Hospital,” said Sebby Baggiano, Chair Italian American. “The tremendous response we receive reflects the passion and spirit of giving by our donors who understand the importance of maintaining quality access to cancer treatment and prevention.”
Sadly, the Italian-American Golf Tournament committee lost its first Chairman and one of the original committee members, Samuel E. Restivo. Sam formed the concept and organized the subsequent committee that developed and launched the IA Charity golf Tournament in Jamestown. The IA served to bring Italian-Americans together with those of other ethnic backgrounds while raising charitable dollars. Since its inception in 1971, the Italian-American Charity Golf Association has contributed over $850,000 to cancer research and care.
“Sam was considered the to be the “father” of our tournament,” said Baggiano. “He will really be missed by all. Our Committee and our generous supporters are privileged to carry on Sam’s outstanding legacy of helping those diagnosed with cancer.”
The donation will be used toward the purchase of the precision, innovative Endoscopy equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer. “We will have the best equipment available,” said James Campion, M.D., gastroenterologist (GI) at Jamestown Area Medical Associates (JAMA), on staff at WCA Hospital. “It will expand our field of vision and provide clearer images for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer. The good news is that we can prevent colorectal cancers by detecting and removing pre-cancerous polyps. This is very exciting and we deeply appreciate the continued support for our patients from the Italian American event.”
WCA Hospital recently opened the doors of its new 5,000-square-foot ultra-modern Endoscopy Suite located at Riverwalk Center, the largest outpatient Endoscopy service in the area. Patients experience the convenience of advanced Endoscopy services in a new, contemporary medical outpatient environment. Located at 15 S. Main St. in Jamestown, the Suite boasts advanced technology and services, staffed by a team of highly skilled and experienced physicians, nurses, and technical and support professionals.
“We are grateful for donations such as these which contribute to our high quality care and position WCA Hospital on the forefront of providing the latest treatments and prevention in the fight against cancer,” said Ms. Wright.
The WCA Cancer Care Program of WCA Hospital is dedicated to offering compassionate, state-of-the-art cancer care. The program was recently honored with a three-year approval with Commendation Level of Compliance by the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) Commission on Cancer (CoC). Only 25 percent of all hospitals across the United States receive this designation. In New York State, only one in four programs share this honor.
The three-year approval with commendation is the result of the hospital’s commitment to integrating clinical excellence, programs and community outreach. WCA is one of only 1,350 programs across the country that has earned approval from the Commission on Cancer. In New York State, only one in four share this prestigious honor.
Last year’s Champions of the Italian American Charity Golf Tournament were Pat Smeraldo and Rick Joslyn. Runners-up were George Panebianco and John O’Mara.
This year’s event will mark the tournament’s 39th anniversary with total proceeds topping $859,000 for cancer care. The Italian American Charity Golf Association event was the brainstorm of a small group of community minded men who wanted to raise money for a local charity. Their dream was to create a golf tournament where one member of each two-man team was of Italian decent and the partner was of another nationality. The IA Committee has already begun plans for their 2009 event which will be held June 11, 12, and 13 at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville. For more information, call 664-7354 log on to their Web site at www.IAcharitygolf.com.