Hospital marks Diamond Raffle’s 10th year

Posted Nov. 14, 2010, at 7:02 p.m.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of a marvelous fundraiser for Health Services Foundation for Houlton Regional Hospital that was the suggestion of longtime HSF board member Walter Goodrich, owner of Goodrich Jewelry in that community.

The HSF 10th annual Diamond Raffle is something special, a one-of-a kind event that should appeal to a broad range of individuals who want to help out HSF and have the opportunity to win terrific prizes at the same time.

This year only, HSF Executive Director Elizabeth Dulin told me, no fewer than 10 prizes will be awarded, with a total value of $20,000.

First prize is a 1.21-carat radiant-cut diamond ring set on a 14k yellow gold, leaf-design band.

Eight prizes of a bracelet, pendant, earrings, watch, slider, brooch, Maine charm and an ankle bracelet will be offered, but here’s the kicker: The final prize is actually last year’s 55-diamond, 14k white gold ring that was unclaimed by the winner.

Many, many people wanted that ring, Elizabeth recalled, so she is thrilled to offer those folks a second chance to win that prize.

“In fact,” she said, “a lot of people have told me they hope to win 10th prize!”

Tickets are $20 each, and all major credit cards are accepted.

Tickets can be obtained by calling HSF at 521-2147 or 521-2503, or by visiting www.healthservicesfoundation.org.

You also may purchase tickets and view the raffle items during regular business hours, now through the end of the contest on Feb. 14, at Goodrich’s Jewelry on North Road in Houlton, where the winning tickets will be drawn at 6 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.

Each person who purchases a raffle ticket also receives what is being described as a “Diamond Pin,” which is really a “DIME & Pin” on a pink ribbon for breast cancer health support.

The idea is for people who have purchased a raffle ticket to wear the pin to let others know this campaign is to help HRH acquire equipment to offer digital mammography.

From her perspective as director, Elizabeth said the HSF annual Diamond Raffle “has been a fabulous fundraiser since day one.”

She added the foundation “is extremely grateful to Walter Goodrich for bringing up the idea 10 years ago.”

“We have been able to give back so much to the communities we serve because of this fundraiser and the additional generosity in having his store be the focal point for the majority of our ticket sales.

“We can never say thank you enough for his outstanding support.”

In recognition of that support, as noted above, the winning tickets, this year, will be drawn at Goodrich’s Jewelry.

In nine years, the diamond raffle has raised $120,909.41 and, with the early sales from this year, the total is now $121,924.41, Elizabeth noted, adding the fundraiser is “off to a good start.”

The fundraiser has been titled “Enhancing Sophie,” which is part of a campaign to bring state-of-the-art digital mammography equipment and offer vitally needed digital mammography for HRH patients, she explained.

In the past, the fundraiser has supported the purchase of the original Sophie Mammography Machine in 2001, a pediatrics expansion at HRH and the nuclear medicine equipment and expansion at HRH.

Area schools, fire departments and ambulance services have also benefited from this fundraiser.

Proceeds from this year’s raffle will help bring HRH into the state-of-the art digital era for mammography.

With the new Fujifilm computer-assisted detection system, Elizabeth said, there will be no more physical handling and reading of films, and doctors can get mammogram results through their computer and with digital results.

For the patient, digital mammography results in 30 to 40 percent less radiation exposure, is a quicker process, and makes screening more efficient for the hospital.

The time frame for this fundraiser couldn’t be better, because it covers all of the major end-of-year holidays, continues through New Year’s and ends on Valentine’s Day.

Whether it’s for a birthday, a holiday gift, a stocking stuffer or for your valentine, now is the time to make this purchase.

Just imagine the joy you could bring that special someone in your life if your $20 ticket were one of the winners.

Imagine, too, the substantial benefit your participation in this fundraiser will mean to enhancing the health services HRH provides to women in that area.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.com; 990-8288.

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