Friends of St. Lawrence Hockey donate over 100 stuffed animal toys to Massena Memorial Hospital for child patients
Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 6:09 am

Above, ER tech Kylie Taylor, nurse Jennifer Wyman, Friends of St. Lawrence Hockey president Phil Spadaccini, chief nursing officer Ralene North, MMH CEO Robert Wolleben, and MMH emergency director Tammy Mitchell showcase the stuffed animals recently donated to Massena Memorial Hospital from Friends of St. Lawrence Hockey Booster Club.

MASSENA -- The Friends of St. Lawrence Hockey recently donated more than 100 stuffed animal toys to Massena Memorial Hospital to distribute to child patients there.

The stuffed animals were given to four of the hospital units where children are most often seen - the emergency department, first floor pediatrics, Kids Korner Pediatrics and adolescent center and Levine walk-in clinic.

“No one wants to see a child scared. Stuffed animals could provide some small comfort to a child who is in an unknown environment. We are happy to be a part of an effort that benefits children,” said Friends of SLU hockey Phil Spadaccini.

For the last several years, Friends of St. Lawrence Hockey held a teddy bear toss during a varsity men’s hockey game.

Hundreds of brand new stuffed bears and other stuffed animals are donated.

Members of minor hockey teams from St. Lawrence County come out to the ice rink to collect the donations. The booster club then distributes the stuffed animals to local hospitals and nonprofit agencies.

Chief Nursing Executive Ralene North said when a child is calm their vital signs are in their average range. The child can then be accurately diagnosed, so MMH’s staff can get them on the road to recovery faster.

“A person’s heart rate, breathing levels and blood pressure often rise when they are experiencing anxiety. When this occurs we can’t always get a clear indication of their aliment. Once, they are calm their vital signs return to normal and we can better treat their issues. For a child squeezing a teddy bear can relieve a lot of their tension. Once the tension is relieved we can better identify the correct vital signs,” North said in a news release.