Fulton Hospital’s Caring Legacy Lives On

March 15, 2010 (Syracuse, NY) – Before Fulton-based A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital closed for business last year, the once active Hospital Auxiliary administered a number of scholarships to benefit students from Oswego County pursuing careers in the medical field. Upon the closing, hospital administrators and auxiliary volunteers transferred the remaining scholarship funds to the Community Foundation, where they will now continue to honor the legacy of the devoted volunteers for which they were named.

Four scholarships were combined to create the new A.L. Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund in the names of Gertrude Case Kesterke, Yvonne Arnold and Adolph Kalafarski. This new fund will allow the memories of those named, as well as that of the hospital, to continue into perpetuity. Every year, the new fund will award a scholarship to a graduating senior from Fulton, Hannibal or Phoenix High Schools pursuing a career in the paramedical field.

“It means so much to have this piece of the hospital’s community engagement live on through the Community Foundation,” said hospital administrator Dennis Casey.  “The spirit of A.L. Lee Memorial will be kept alive through the generations of students that will benefit from this fund.”

The following scholarships were combined to create the Community Foundation’s new fund:

Gertrude Case Kesterke Memorial Scholarship Award
Gertrude was a nurse and auxiliary volunteer at the hospital. Serving as director of volunteer services and the candy striper program for many
years, she was well-respected for her compassion and caring for others.

Yvonne Arnold Memorial Nursing Scholarship
Yvonne, a 35-year resident of Fulton, served as a registered nurse at the hospital for many years. After she passed away in 1970, a scholarship was created in her memory.  It was funded with proceeds from the then highly-anticipated Cracker Barrel Fair, the Auxiliary’s annual fundraising festival.

Adolph Kalafarski Scholarship
Adolph, known to his friends as Kal, was a highly-regarded member of the Fulton community.  He served in various roles on the hospital’s Board for 30 years and was an active supporter of the community and high school athletics. A scholarship was formed by public and hospital employee donations to honor his memory when he died in 1998.

A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital began in 1903, built on land donated by Mrs. Victorine Lee in the name of her late husband, Brigadier General Albert Lindley Lee who was a Fulton native that commanded cavalry in the Civil War. Over the years, it added a new hospital building, an adjoining medical office building and medical office buildings in Phoenix and Hannibal. The hospital provided a wide range of primary care and specialty services for the residences in the area. Hundreds of thousands of patients were served over the course of its history. The hospital ended its in-patient, emergency and out-patient services in the Spring of 2009. The building is now serving as an urgent care center and diagnostic treatment center.

The Central New York Community Foundation connects the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to enhance the quality of life of those who live and work in Central New York. The Community Foundation annually makes more than $5 million in grants and provides leadership support in the fields of arts and culture, community and economic development, education, environment, health and human services. Founded in 1927, the Community Foundation strives to inspire philanthropy in Central New York. www.cnycf.org

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