Our Special Friends

The generosity of others has played a major role in making Thompson Health one of the finest healthcare facilities in New York State. These ‘Special Friends’ donate from the heart and for the good of the community, and the stories below spotlight their various acts of kindness and philanthropy.

Roseland Bowl

Bowl for the Cure® is a fundraising and breast cancer awareness initiative sponsored by the United States Bowling Congress in partnership with Susan G. Komen, the world's largest grass roots organization of breast cancer survivors and activists.

Locally, the annual event is sponsored by Jack Moran’s Roseland Bowl, and since 2008 has raised nearly $95,000 for Thompson Health’s Breast Health Navigation Program.

It’s a true community effort to strike out breast cancer, and when Bowl for the Cure is on, it’s party time at Roseland Bowl, as hundreds of participants jam the 44 lanes for two nights of fun, games and live entertainment.

“It’s really like a giant party at Roseland Bowl,” said Sonja Personale, who not only serves on the event’s organizing committee, but is also president of the local USBC chapter. “Everyone has a great time with so much going on – live bands, numerous prize raffles occurring throughout the night, the food and, of course, bowling.”

Since its inception in 2000, Bowl for the Cure – on a National scale – has raised more than $10 million for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, but Ontario County’s own Roseland Bowl for the Cure has maintained a strong local presence with the majority of the funds raised going to Thompson Health.

“We started our Bowl for the Cure here in 2008, but we wanted to include our community,” said Personale. “So we donate to both Komen and Thompson- with the larger share going to Thompson.”

Mary Ellen Kirkwood of Bristol has volunteered on the Bowl for the Cure committee for five years.

“As a breast cancer survivor for 26 years, this event is very dear to my heart,” said the former Bristol Mountain guest services manager who also worked five years at Thompson Health. “The tremendous care and support I received many years ago at Thompson helped me and my family get through a very difficult time, and this is one of my favorite ways to give back.”

Mary Ellen’s daughter, Sue Kirkwood, a 20-plus year employee at Thompson Health, also volunteers for the Bowl for the Cure.

“Besides working here for many years, I have a very special personal connection to Thompson Health and I’m happy to help in any way I can,” said Sue, who works at the hospital as a recruiter/generalist. “Many family members – including my mother – have been helped by Thompson, and I cannot say enough good things about the care they received. Thompson Health really does care about everyone, and it is not just spoken words, but demonstrated through actions.”