Chatham Hospital seeking pledges to help pay off debt
By Angela Delp, as appeared in the August 16, 2007 edition of The Chatham News
Chatham County residents can contribute funds to reduce Chatham Hospital’s debt for its replacement building.
Although the hospital took out a Housing and Urban Development Loan to cover the $3 million construction costs, the hospital is expected to pay $750,000.
The hospital has organized a philanthropy campaign to enable people to contribute to the community hospital’s new building.
“We’ve taken that money out of own operating budget,” Chatham Hospital CEO Carol Straight said. “Although Chatham Hospital is doing well financially, our finances are still fragile.”
Straight said hospital officials have been contacting individuals and organizations seeking pledges.
Contributors may donate funds for specific areas of the hospital or they may make undesignated donations in amounts of their choice.
Those wanting to place their names on patient rooms, waiting rooms or other designated areas must pay a specific amount. A plaque with the donor’s name will be prominently displayed outside the room.
Straight said the hospital is accepting donations of any amount. The donations are tax deductible.
“Donors can spread their donation out over several years,” she said. “We are not requiring people to pay the full amount at once.”
She added that Chatham Hospital is willing to work with donors who want designated sections of the hospital.
“If these organizations want their name on a certain room, we’ll do our best to see they get it,” she said.
Straight said the hospital will feature a “donor wall,” where names of benefactors will be listed.
“We haven’t decided exactly where or how we’ll display the names but there will definitely be a place where donors can go to find their names,” she said.
Straight added that pledges can be made anonymously if the donor chooses.
Several organizations and businesses have already contributed funds to the Philanthropy Campaign, including Siler City’s Rotary Club and the Town of Siler City.
The Basic Group was the first entity to contribute.
Straight said many of the benefactors chose areas of the hospital that were of special interest to them.
Howard and Harry Lee Horney, brothers who previously owned the hospital’s property, chose to sponsor the hospital’s courtyard garden.
“This family really enjoys working outside and gardening, so they wanted to do the courtyard,” she said. “They’re planning to contribute money for the garden’s upkeep.”
The Horney family was the first to pay off their contribution.
“All of the banks who have contributed are also paid in full,” she said.
She added that Townsend chose the emergency room waiting area because many of their employees utilize the hospital’s emergency room.
Other benefactors include Siler City Pharmacy, Brookwood Farms, Fidelity Bank, Bill Milholen, Angus and Margaret Currie, Mark and Elizabeth Zeringue, Charles J. Johnson, Carol and David Straight, RBC Centura and Wachovia.
Those interested in pledging money to Chatham Hospital’s Philanthropy Campaign should download the pledge card from www.chathamhospital.org or contact Carol Straight at 919- 663-2113.