The Massena Memorial Hospital Foundation has added $25,000 to the growing pool of donations assisting nursing students at SUNY Canton. The gift is part of the Maresca Family Challenge, a scholarship endowment established by Dr. Michael Maresca and his wife Barbara, which has now raised more than $170,000 in donations.
Charles F. Fahd, II, Chief Executive Officer of Massena Memorial Hospital, presented SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy with a ceremonial check from the hospital foundation on Sunday at a reception at the Maresca’s home in Hannawa Falls.
“The majority of our nurses are SUNY Canton graduates, and we just hired six more in June after graduation.” Fahd said. “As part of the Maresca Family Challenge, this gift is designed not only to assist nursing students, but to improve the quality of health care in the North Country.”
Approximately 100 people attended the reception this weekend. The Maresca Family Challenge also received several private donations at the reception, increasing the money raised to continue building the Maresca Family Endowed Scholarship for Nursing students. That total includes the Maresca’s original pledge of more than $100,000 and a pledge of $25,000 from Canton-Potsdam Hospital.
Also, 48th District Senator James Wright spoke at the reception and pledged $5,000 on behalf of New York State to help address the growing national shortage of nurses.
“I congratulate and commend the Maresca Family for their outstanding initiative, leadership, and commitment in making a difference in the quality of health care in the North Country and the lives of nursing students,” Senator Wright said. “This scholarship will help us in seeking a solution to the nursing shortage that we are experiencing locally and throughout our state.”
When the Marescas announced their gift in May, they challenged college alumni, local businesses, community members, and friends to join them in supporting the educational needs of future nursing students at the college.
“Nurses are one of the most critically important people in modern health care,” Dr. Maresca said. “When I work with a patient they seldom remember me, but they always remember how well the nurses treated them.”
Several current SUNY Canton Nursing Students attended the event, including two of this year’s scholarship recipients. All of the students personally thanked the Marescas for initiating the challenge. Their gift, along with securing the matching donations, will help ensure that future students receive a top-quality SUNY Canton education in the most economically feasible way possible.