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Correction officers help children with donation to pediatric unit

children now come to CVPH Medical Center, they'll get a side of entertainment with their medical care.

The local chapter of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, which represents correction officers at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, presented the hospital's Center for Women and Children with 10 DVD players and approximately 40 DVDs Feb. 18. The donation, augmented by storage carts provided by Wal-Mart, was made as part of a continued commitment by the chapter to give back to the community.

David Duquette, who was among the correction officers who presented the donation on behalf of the chapter's more than 900 members, said NYSCOPBA was happy to do what it could to bring smiles to children's faces.

"We wanted to do this because we know that in the children's ward there are sick kids that need something to do," said Duquette. "And, we wanted to give them something to do."

Correction sergeant Mike Guynup, who was also present for the donation, said he and his fellow officers know a hospital can be an intimidating place for a child. If a movie can help take a child's mind off why they're there, then that's one small way the NYSCOPBA chapter is glad to help, he said.

"We have families. We're part of the community and we've all utilized the hospital before," said Guynup. "And, if we can make a kid smile, it's worth it."

The donation was a welcome addition to the center's pediatric unit, said CWC director Maria Hayes.

"I think this is wonderful for the kids especially because, unfortunately, as of late, there are a lot of them that are on isolation, so they can't leave their room," said Hayes. "Having this equipment is wonderful because it will help keep them occupied."

"And, anytime you can put a smile on a child's face in a hospital is great," she added.

Duquette and Guynup thanked the membership of their local NYSCOPBA chapter for making the donation possible.

"I think they all feel good about it. I think knowing that a sick child will be able to watch a movie [because of the donation] is a good thing," said Duquette.

"Without our members, we couldn't do any of this," added Guynup.

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