Hospital foundation to create 'Circle of Healing and Hope'

PLATTSBURGH - The Foundation of CVPH has come up with a way to make use of its ample greenspace while offering patients and their families a reflective spot at the same time.

The foundation's board of directors unveiled plans Feb. 28 to establish a "Circle of Healing and Hope" on the south edge of CVPH Medical Center's front lawn, near the Beekman Street entrance. The circle, said board president Michael E. Zurlo, is an "exciting new project" that will provide a place for people "to reflect on loved ones past and present, to find inspiration and hope for those who are sick and to offer a place for personal reflection."

"The purpose of this project is to bring a spiritual, meaningful space to the outside of the medical center," said Zurlo. "The project, which will complement our beautiful interfaith chapel, will serve as a place for serenity and healing as well as give hope and strength to people during stressful times."

The Circle of Healing and Hope will consist of an "Angel of Hope" statue at its center, based on the angel monument in "The Christmas Box," a best-selling novel by Richard Paul Evans. In the novel, a woman mourns the loss of her child, drawing solace at the base of a statue of an angel. Though similar angel statues have been commissioned across the country with the purpose of being dedicated solely to "children who have left this world far too soon," Zurlo noted the CVPH statue would be erected to memorialize anyone of any age.

"The foundation board feels this endeavor is very important to the community as everyone - regardless of relationship to loss - benefits from public shared spaces that offer a place for personal reflection," said Zurlo.

The statue will be surrounded by engraved granite paving stones, that will lead up to the statue from an existing sidewalk on the front lawn, and circle the statue. The stones will be available for sponsorship - at a cost of $150 for a 9-inch by 6-inch stone or $500 for a 12-inch by 12-inch stone - in order to subsidize the $56,000 cost of the project. Crafted wooden benches will also be available for sponsorship, featuring plaques with personal messages, for donations of $2,500 or more.

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