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Monongahela Valley Hospital Employees Become Elves for a Day to Help Local Children

Monongahela Valley Hospital Employees Become Elves for a Day to Help Local Children photo

Wally Fronzaglio (left) and John Bogdan pose with some of the baskets of toys assembled by Monongahela Valley Hospital employees.
(October 19, 2015 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

"You should go home and feel really proud of the work you did here today," said Louis J. Panza Jr., president and CEO of Monongahela Valley Hospital, as he addressed the 160 members of the hospital's leadership team. On Oct. 15, the group spent the afternoon putting together tricycles, little cars and scooters as well as assembling baskets filled with toys for special needs children in the Valley. The group assembled the toys and gifts for the area's Toys for Tots program during a team-building exercise at their leadership conference.

U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program Coordinator Wally Fronzaglio, of Donora, attended to witness the toy assembly, which has become a favorite annual event for the leaders. Mr. Fronzaglio then accepted the donated toys on behalf of the Mon Valley Leathernecks, a group of former Marines of all ages and walks of life that "does all the legwork" for the local Toys for Tots program. The group formed in 1986 to run a local collection program.

"Monongahela Valley Hospital's employees have been involved in the Toys for Tots program in the mid-Mon Valley since it began," said John Bogdan, RN, BSN, nurse manager of the Behavioral Health Unit, who helps coordinate the event for the Hospital. "We look forward to this assembly event every year because we know that we are helping our neighbors in the community."

Mr. Fronzaglio was amazed by the employees' toy-building skills and visibly touched by their willingness to roll up their sleeves and help. In addressing the toy builders he said, "Two years ago, we ran out of toys. It broke my heart to not have enough toys to give one to every child who reached out to us. Last year, when I told the employees at Mon Valley Hospital about the prior year's shortage, you stepped up to the plate and made sure that we had enough toys to go around. Last year, thanks to Mon Valley Hospital employees, the Toys for Tots program even had enough toys to give to the Salvation Army in Monessen when they lost part of their toys."

In addition to assembling the toys, the staff of Monongahela Valley Hospital places Toys for Tots collection boxes throughout the hospital campus. Members of the community are also welcome to donate toys at the hospital. Anyone interested in contributing, may drop off a new, unwrapped toy to Monongahela Valley Hospital's Gift Shop. Checks also are welcome. They should be made payable to "Toys for Tots" and mailed to Wally Fronzaglio, 204 Brokaw Ave., Donora, PA 15033 before Dec. 15. Checks received after that date will be used for the 2016 drive.

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