Wal-Mart greeter raises $100,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital

Newark’s Wally Straight asks for $1 at the time

June 02, 2005

Wally Straight got the last $5 he needed today to meet his $100,000 goal in donations for the Golisano Children’s Hospital from a frequent donator – five-year-old Catrina Cornwell of Waterloo, who gave Wally her birthday money.

Since 2002, Wally has been asking Newark Wal-Mart customers to donate to the area’s only children’s hospital and the community has graciously given at about $180 per shift. Even after seeing the community continue to give, Wally said he was still wowed by reaching $100,000: “The generosity of the people, this little farm community…”

“One lady told me she keeps a dollar in her pocket just in case I’m working,” Wally added.

Gerald VanHought also often empties his pockets for Wally and his cause. Two of his grandchildren have been patients at the Golisano Children’s Hospital.

“You couldn’t ask for a better response team,” VanHought said. “I can’t say enough about (Wally) and the hospital.”

Wally said that even though he met his $100,000 goal, he’s not done. Wally lost one of his grandchildren to cancer 10 years ago while living in Illinois, and he said he will continue to raise money for other sick children.

Wal-Mart Sam’s Club is one of the hospital’s biggest supporters. The company’s $1 million gift last year helped to build the hospital’s new Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

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Heather Hare
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