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Patients look forward to home

Hillside hospital celebrates season

Jonece Smith, 7, of Warren tells Santa Claus what she wants for Christmas Sunday at Hillside Hospital.

HOWLAND — Family and friends of patients at Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital were able to celebrate the holidays with their loved Sunday as the center opened its doors to the community for the annual “Christmas at Hillside.”

Hubbard resident Al Guyer, a patient, came to the cafeteria area where there was music, food, crafts and a visit from Santa Claus and Mrs Claus.

“It’s a really nice event. The kids are here waiting for Santa Claus. I am looking forward to getting home for Christmas,” Guyer said.

Norma Brown of New Middletown, a patient, was brought to the celebration by her daughter, Pam Carroll of New Middletown and great-granddaughter, Grace Burchfield, also of New Middletown.

“I hope to be at home for Christmas. I love what they have for us here today,” Brown said as she was wheeled around in a wheelchair to the different attractions.

For patients who could not get to the event, the Howland High School choir members sang Christmas carols for them on the different hospital floors.

Mary Smith of Warren was visiting her husband, Harry Smith, who is a patient.

“We hope to be able to get him down here to see this. It is beautiful,” she said.

While many patients will be home before Christmas, for those who can’t go home there will be a special gift.

Joanne Bruton event coordinator, and Sally Mazey, director of volunteers, said there are 60 blankets ready for the holiday patients.

“To make the holidays special for those patients who are at the hospital on Christmas they will receive a blanket. This time of year everyone gets involved to help. We call this our Christmas extraordinaire. We have more than enough blankets if we have a lot of people here. Every patient will get one,” Mazey said.

Peg Krozier, one of the committee members who planned the event, said there are 23 Christmas trees, 38 wreaths and some centerpieces displayed throughout the hospital available in a raffle.

“Many of the hospital staff, volunteers and different departments decorated a tree or wreath for the event. The proceeds will help those battling from a stroke or heart condition,” Krozier said.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to the American Heart Association. American Stroke Association and for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).

Hall said a staff member, Sandy Lockhart, who worked 40 years at the hospital, passed away from ALS and the donation is being made in her memory. Lockhart’s family attended the event.

The raffle drawing for the trees and wreaths is noon Dec. 27. A gift basket raffle is noon Wednesday. Tickets for the raffles are available daily.

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