A return to old ways

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:13

    POMPTON PLAINS - Although Chilton Memorial Hospital opened in 1954, it took seven years and the efforts of 20,000 community residents to raise enough funds to build the initial structure. Now, a West Milford man and the motorcycle club of which he is president are helping in a new fundraising campaign that incorporates the core process that was so successful half a century ago. The Pompton Plains Harley Davidson Owners Group volunteered to assist the Chilton Memorial Hospital Foundation with fund-raising efforts to make changes to Chilton Memorial's pediatric emergency service. "We're hoping area residents who were born at the hospital or whose families have made use of the Chilton Memorial's emergency department or other services will just put a donation in the jar or the can for the hospital," explained motorcycle club president Kenneth VanDerVliet. "Their donations can really make a big difference for even the smallest of patients." The motorcycle club has more than 300 members who have pledged to contribute the full proceeds from their candy sales from weekly Bike Night meetings and money raised from their well-attended Fall Foliage motorcycle run to the hospital. The group also will display a five-gallon collection jar at Kosco Harley Davidson in Kinnelon, and will distribute gallon fund-raising collection cans to local business establishments in Bloomingdale, Butler, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Montville, Pompton Lakes, Pompton Plains, Pequannock, Ringwood, Riverdale, Wanaque, Wayne and West Milford. One of the hospital's earliest fund-raising efforts was performed by Dr. Forrest S. Chilton, the founder of the hospital, who donated the initial eight-acre tract of land for the Pompton Plains hospital. Chilton kept a gallon jar in the waiting room of his office, and would often tell patients: "No charge for this visit. Just put a donation in the jar for my hospital." Now, as the hospital celebrates 50 years of history, Chilton Memorial has initiated a new "Gallon-Jar/Gallon Can" effort to raise funds to convert part of the hospital's Emergency Department into a special unit for children under 18. The new pediatric emergency program will still have quick access to sophisticated imaging and diagnostic equipment in the adult emergency department, as well as the hospital's full resources. It will, however, feature a separate pediatric waiting area with a specially trained pediatric staff, and a child-friendly environment, as well as equipment that includes smaller needles, smaller tubing, dinosaur masks for children, and toys designed to distract children so physicians can calm them and attend to their emergency needs.