By Jason A. Smith
Henry Medical Center's fund-raising arm will host a "TeleWebaThon" tonight (Saturday), to raise money for the hospital.
The first of its kind for the Henry Medical Center Foundation, the event will begin at 6 p.m., at Bethany Baptist Church in McDonough, at 4 North Bethany Road.
The fund-raiser will be featured on SCB-TV Channel 15, as well as on the foundation's web site, www.hmcfoundation.org.
Dan Garrett, executive director of the foundation, described the telethon as a way to acknowledge the 30th anniversary of Henry Medical Center, which has operated as a not-for-profit facility in Henry since 1979.
"Henry Medical Center is not part of any national corporation," said Garrett. "It is locally operated and overseen by local citizens who serve on the boards without pay. All of the funds raised during this special event will be directed toward such foundation programs as scholarships for nurses, purchase of equipment and community education. [We want] to make sure our not-for-profit hospital is here for another 30 years."
Garrett said the TeleWebaThon is "going to be a fun event," and will help to educate the public about the services provided by the hospital.
"It gives all of us an opportunity to express our appreciation and financial support to the hospital, which is always open and always ready to take care of us in times of need," said Garrett. "Over 60,000 people were seen in the emergency department last year, and ... 200 babies a month are delivered at Henry Medical. This is certainly a new and creative fund-raiser for the county, and I hope we have a big crowd."
Garrett said scheduled performers for the telethon include the Henley Varner Band, country-music singer Amanda Lynn, Katie Lawhorne of Stockbridge, and comedian Chris Kauffman.
"Also on the program are three ladies named Harmony in Faith and two brothers who play the violin, fiddle, banjos and more," Garrett said. "Two singers round out the event - Jamie Farmer from the Henry Players, who will perform 'The Impossible Dream,' and Nevar Massey, a contestant on a recent cable-TV singing competition."
Michelle Deraney, president of SCB-TV, said she is looking forward to displaying her support for the hospital's efforts through the telethon.
"The idea behind it is to get the word out to the entire community what the hospital does," she said. "Many people do not realize Henry Medical Center is a not-for-profit hospital. Even small donations will help. We want people to be aware ... that all contributions count."
Deraney said the TeleWebaThon will air on her channel 10 times a day, through the week of Sept. 21. Donations, she said, can be made online at the foundation's web site, or by calling the foundation. The foundation can be reached at (678) 604-1045.