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Fort Drum fundraiser raises money for Samaritan Medical Center

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Fort Drum fundraiser raises money for Samaritan Medical Center
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North Country neighbors gathered on Fort Drum Saturday night to help save lives. The 12th annual "One Night, One Diamond" event raised funds for Samaritan Medical Center's Auxiliary. Our Elizabeth Jeneault has more on how the proceeds will allow the hospital to better treat some emergencies.

FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Locals who volunteer for Samaritan Medical Center's Auxiliary have been hard at work. Over the past several months, they've been prepping to make this year's fundraiser the best yet.

"Every year we try to outdo ourselves from the last year and we spent a lot of time on our decorating and all of the details that are so important to us," said SMC Auxiliary Treasurer Maryann Mooney-Rondon.

A lot of time and dedication that pays off in the long run as it's the auxiliary's main opportunity to raise funds.

Last year, they donated nearly $52,000 to the hospital from the event. This time around, they're hoping to raise even more. Their goal is to purchase a very critical, yet expensive piece of equipment.

"Once the event is over and we have all of the proceeds, then we'll go ahead and purchase the Arctic Sun Temperature Management System," said SMC Auxiliary Board member Irene Carman.

That system serves to cool down cardiac arrest patients. It essentially induces hypothermia, which could help save a patient's organs or tissues.

"The coolness of the body at that point prevents the neurological damage that can sometimes occur," Carman said.

Although the hospital already has one cooling system on hand, they say having another is crucial.

"If they have a patient already on the arctic sun, it's nice to have the second one for the next patient that may come in," Carman said.

Saturday night's event ended up being sold out. That's good news for the auxiliary and for all North Country residents, who may need the hospital to one day treat them for cardiac arrest.

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