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Samaritan Medical Center fundraiser raising money for hypothermia unit

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In one night, people have a chance to win one diamond and help out with one cause that will affect many patients at Samaritan Medical Center.

As part of the Samaritan Auxiliary’s 12th annual One Night, One Diamond fundraiser, local residents will have an opportunity to be a part of saving someone’s life. That is because event proceeds will go toward the purchase of an Arctic Sun Temperature Management System, which improves patient outcomes in the emergency room and intensive care unit who experience cardiac arrest, by inducing hypothermia.

“It is a standard of practice to be using it,” said Irene C. Carman, chairwoman of the event, to be held from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. March 29 at The Commons, Building P-4350, Euphrates River Valley Road, Fort Drum.

Samaritan has used one since 2010, but Mrs. Carman — wife of Samaritan Chief Executive Officer Thomas H. Carman — said if the machine is being used to help a patient, it can’t just be taken off when another patient experiences cardiac arrest. When you cool the body down, she said, you have to gradually warm it back up. Having a second, portable hypothermia unit will enable the hospital to help save more lives, she said.

The equipment costs about $42,000.

The auxiliary selects an item from the hospital’s capital budget, which is put together by a committee of physicians, managers and other staff who set priorities for equipment needs throughout the Samaritan health system.

“From there, we really look for something we think will make an impact for Samaritan,” Mrs. Carman said.

Samaritan spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle said people enjoy attending the One Night, One Diamond fundraiser because they “know where their money is going.”

Mrs. Carman said event attendance runs at nearly full capacity, at just over 375 people. The band Atlas will perform as attendees enjoy a strolling dinner and the chance to win a half-carat loose diamond, donated by Waterbury Fine Jewelers, or a two-night getaway at Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake Inn.

While tickets are $150 per couple, Mrs. Carman said, people who make a purchase of $10 or more in the auxiliary’s gift shop within the main hospital, 830 Washington St., will be entered to win two tickets to the event.

One Night, One Diamond has been successful year after year, Mrs. Carman said, because a core group of people remains passionate about preparing the event, while sponsors and community members continue to support it. Pepsi of Watertown has stepped up this year to become a presenting sponsor, next to Purcell Construction and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. Media sponsors include the Watertown Daily Times and 7News WWNY/Fox 28 WNYF. Dozens of other sponsors also contribute to the event.

Event invitations were sent out late last month, but invitations are not required to attend.

“Anyone that wants to be added to our list, we’d be happy to have them,” Mrs. Carman said.

Last year, Erin Roshia, Watertown, won the diamond, and Dr. and Mrs. Dariusz Chrostowskiwon won the two-night getaway package. Proceeds from the 2013 event went toward the purchase of trays of surgical equipment for the hospital’s daVinci Robotic Surgery Program.

Responses to One Night, One Diamond must be received by March 18. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.samaritanhealth.com/onod.

If you go
Here is some information One Night, One Diamond attendees will need to know about going on post for the March 29 event:
• Have a valid photo identification card for every person in the car. n Have event ticket(s). n All guests must enter Fort Drum at the Mount Belvedere Gate, off of Route 283.
If someone other than those named on a person’s response card will be using the ticket(s), call Event Chairwoman Irene C. Carman at 408-7895, or email onod@shsny.com so Samaritan can update the guest list immediately.
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