Longtime community supporter Frances Mary Paul donated $75,000 toward a new facility in Upland at the turn of the century. That donation — a hefty one for the times — helped make San Antonio Regional Hospital possible. On Monday, her great granddaughter helped repeat the family tradition.
Sue Scott participated in the hospital’s 31st annual golf tournament at Red Hill Country Club in Rancho Cucamonga. And she was thrilled to find out that proceeds from the two-day event, which are expected to top $300,000, will help put an expansion campaign fundraising effort over the top. The San Antonio Regional Hospital Foundation and supporters have worked for the past couple of years to raise $12 million for expansion of the 108-year-old hospital. This week they reached their goal.
“We have enjoyed broad support from the community. Even though the name of the hospital has changed (formerly called San Antonio Community Hospital) in order to reflect services throughout the region, we still are a community hospital and a community asset,” said Harris Koenig, hospital president and chief executive officer.
The expansion campaign has been the largest single fundraising project the foundation has tackled. “Reaching our goal is a huge achievement,” said Susan Leonis-Jensen, foundation chairwoman.
As part of the campaign, the foundation sold bricks that now have become part of the building. Bricks are $500 each and come complete with specially engraved stainless steel plaques. Donors are allowed 50 characters and are free to pen their own messages although the bulk of them so far mostly are “in thanks for” or “in honor of” remembrances.
Leonis-Jensen said the strong relationship between the hospital and the community really hit home for her when she witnessed the first donor bricks being installed. Those were purchased by physicians, hospital personnel and employees as well as community and regional donors. “We have a great staff and great support from the community and I believe that’s why so many want to be a part of this legacy,” she said.
Scott was one of them. “It’s just exciting to know that this golf tournament has helped the foundation reach its goal. I was just reading my mom’s memorial program the other day which brought back memories of what our family believes in — service to the community and that means giving of ourselves, our time and our treasure,” she said. “The expansion campaign and project is a truly meaningful one for our whole family.”
Koenig said the $75,000 donation more than a century ago amounted to “hard dollars” and represented a sincere commitment to the community. In fact, the donation amounted to about 40 percent of the cost of the entire first hospital.
Earlier this week, 248 golfers signed up to play in the tournament. Entry fees along with a silent auction helped the foundation reach the magic number. “We hope to open the new portion of the hospital later this year. It would make a great Christmas gift to the community,” he said.
Community members have witnessed a drastic makeover and expansion of the facility. The plan includes adding 92 new private beds, including 12 critical care units. When work on the project concludes, the hospital will have doubled in size.
Seen at the Scene: Sue Scott; Susan Leonis-Jensen; Harris Koenig; Kathy Tully; Ken Neff; Bob Boldig; Bob Gordon; Bill McKernan; David Patterson; and Dr. Fred and Mary Gattas.
Pomona Masonic Lodge honors students and teachers — Each year, Pomona Masonic Lodge No. 246, hosts its annual awards dinner for talented Pomona Unified School District students and teachers. The event recognizes the efforts of individuals who go above and beyond expectations. The lodge did so again before the end of the recent school year.
The program was coordinated this year by Kyoshi Balba and Javier Torrez-Plascencia. Honorees included “Teacher of the Year” Kelly Monnette from Diamond Ranch High School and student winners Kellogg Elementary’s Henry Echeverria, Park West High School’s Cameron Richardson, Washington Elementary’s Giselle Flores and Emerson Middle School’s Destiny Howard. Special awards and presentations were made by James Blaydes with the Los Angeles County Department of Children & Family Services and Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, Congresswoman Norma Torres, State Senator Connie Leyva and State Senator Ling Ling Chang.
Pomona Mayor Elliot Rothman attended and speeches were given by Pomona Unified School District Superintendent Richard Martinez and lodge inspector Norm Smith. Lodge chaplain Ed Mattern was the evening’s master of ceremony.
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