DANSVILLE — The community kick-off event for Bid Adieu to Diabetes entered the spotlight at the Star Theater.
On May 11 several organizations came together to benefit Noyes Diabetes Education Program held at several locations, such as Dansville, Cohocton, Geneseo, Hornell, Canaseraga, and Nunda.
The Dansville Lions Club, Dansville Rotary Club, Dansville Ambulance, and Noyes Health were present for the kick-off event. Olie Olsen, Mount Morris CTE Metal Trade teacher, shared a few words about what this project means to his students.
Lions Club member Dave Mapes said whenever this type of event takes place within the community it is always a success.
“This year they have chosen to work with the Noyes Diabetes Education Program. They started this program about 14 years ago. This is a huge need in the community along with transportation and treatments,” he said. “This will benefit the community, and all the surrounding communities who suffer from diabetes. There are a lot of areas that depend on Noyes Health for their services. We are helping those who don’t have the ability to afford treatments.”
Mapes added that for many the disease goes untreated for so long. That is why this educational program is so important to hundreds of people affected by diabetes.
“These students do these sculptures out of the goodness of their hearts on their free time,” he said. “They are not required to participate in this program. Many of them have people in their lives that have been affected by the disease.”
There are over 30 sculptures created by Olsen’s Metal Trades students that will be up for auction at the Dansville Moose Lodge on June 1 at 6 p.m.
Nancy Johnsen, Noyes Health Diabetes Educator, said this is a fantastic event to benefit the program she developed in 2004.
“We can help so many people with this program,” she said. “We are developing information and education to help those who suffer from diabetes. We are going to have so much more opportunities thanks to what these students have created. These students have such a great imagination and talent. I was glad to be able to talk with them, and found that many have been affected by diabetes in some way.”
Johnsen added that the community is in great need of a program like hers, and the funds raised at this event will help immensely.
Olsen said all of his students did an amazing job putting these sculptures together for the auction.
“When the nurse from Noyes Health came to talk to my students they were not uncomfortable at all. They were all sharing their own personal stories about what diabetes has done to their family. They were comfortable sharing it with the whole class,” he said. “What I like about the project is that the students have expressed the whole aspect of why they are doing it. Students have volunteered their time to this project. They have shared ideas with one another.”
Lou Colella, Dansville Lions Club member, said this project will touch so many lives both within and outside of the community.
“I want to emphasize one thing. This is not just for Dansville. In addition to Noyes Hospital, the diabetes clinics are in four other areas. We are not just serving Dansville,” he said. “We are doing this for all the people within a 40 mile radius. Nancy gave us a list of things we could do with the money. It is all earmarked for diabetes.
“One of the things that really reached my heart is there are a lot of poor people. I have done divorces for 40 years, so I know there is a lot of poor people,” Colella continued. “If they are poor they don’t have the transportation to get to these satellites, let alone get the treatments. We who have money are going to help them. Olie and his kids are what makes this event possible. Without them we would have nothing. Only with these kids, who created this art out of scrap metal they found outside, are we going to make money.”
Noyes Health CEO Amy Pollard said she is proud to work with so many wonderful people at the hospital.
“Caring for diabetics is just one thing that is done at the hospital. What we learned over the years is that we are part of Livingston County health care, but we don’t deliver by ourselves,” she said. “Care in a community happens in partnership. We don’t improve ourselves by working in silos. We at Noyes Health reach out and have been reached out to by many organizations and agencies. We have worked to improve the health of our community.”
Pollard thanked the students and organizations who worked to make this happen.
Several of the sculptures can be seen within the community until auction day. Noyes Health, Dansville Public Library, Mill Creek Optical, Star Theater, Battle Street Brewery, Dansville ArtWorks, Macfaddens Coffee, Rogers and Tenbrook, Agway, Dogwood Floral Company, Village Clippers, and Skips Flooring have them on display.