SUNY Canton clubs raising money for kids at local hospitals this holiday
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 9:20 am

Neil A. Haney, an instructional support associate in SUNY Canton's Powersports Performance and Repair program with students Vernon "Chase" Thompson of Felts Mills, Marissa L. Dow of Massena, Kyle R.W. Whalen of Chase Mills and Macaulay A. Snell of Hermon, with the toys distributed to children at two area hospitals.

CANTON -- Two SUNY Canton student clubs are spending the holiday season raising money and collecting donations for kids being cared for at local hospitals, as well as homeless animals at area shelters.

The president of SUNY Canton's Powersports Performance and Repair student club has a personal interest in giving hospitalized children a special gift during the holiday season.

"I remember how good I felt when I got a present when I was a neurology patient as a child," said Vernon "Chase" Thompson of Felts Mills. "I've always tried to collect toys for children in hospitals no matter where I've been during my life."

The Powersports club collected approximately $800 in toys and donations to purchase toys. The students delivered the stuffed animals, dolls and other new children's toys on Dec. 10 to Massena Memorial Hospital and Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

Neil A. Haney, an instructional support associate in the program said that Excessive Adrenaline, a local motorcycle club made a substantial donation to their toy drive efforts. "I'd also like to especially thank Robert Morley and Steven Davis who both contributed substantially to our project," he said.

Student members of the SUNY Canton Veterinary Technician Association collected donations and supplies for the Potsdam Humane Society and the North Country Animal Shelter.

"Our students have a deep concern and love for animals," said Robin I. Gittings, an instructional support technician in the Veterinary Science Technology program and the association's adviser. "They eagerly took on the challenge to collect donations for the shelters we work with on a regular basis. These organizations are always in need of assistance due to tight budgets."

Organizer Katlyn D. Podwirny, a Veterinary Technology major from Lake Luzerne, said the association collected dog and cat toys, food, treats and bowls, as well as cleaning supplies and blankets.

Monetary donations totaled more than $300 and will be used to purchase other items on the shelters' wish lists.

"I am overwhelmed by the amount of donations we received," Podwirny said. "It far exceeded my expectations."