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Aug. 24 Boldt Castle Gala to benefit treatment for soldiers

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — River Hospital’s desire to expand its new program that treats active duty soldiers’ post-traumatic stress disorder is on hold because of a lack of funding.

Now, the River Hospital Foundation is asking for help to make that program happen by either general contributions or attendance at the annual Boldt Castle Gala from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the castle.

“I don’t want this gala to be the party; I want it to be a reason,” said Jodi M. Kemple, director of programs and events for the foundation. “To get qualified doctors to grow this program, we need funding.”

The program’s expansion needs $250,000, she said. The gala raised $11,000 last year, and Mrs. Kemple said the program could use the community’s support to help local soldiers.

The gala will feature an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment. Uncle Sam Boat Tours will provide transportation to Boldt Castle. Tickets to the event are $175 per person, and there will be additional opportunities at the gala to donate to River Community Wellness, Mrs. Kemple said.

A presentation about River Community Wellness will be given by Bradley Frey, program director. Attempts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own masks to the French-masquerade-themed event, which is also a black-tie affair. Typically, Mrs. Kemple said, about 200 to 220 people have attended the annual event. Preregistration, by calling the foundation office at 482-4976, is encouraged. People can stop by the James Street foundation office to drop off ticket money or donations, or mail them to River Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 567, Alexandria Bay, N.Y. 13607. Checks should be made payable to “River Hospital Foundation” with “gala” written in the memo line.

Other donations can be made for a variety of specific purposes for the hospital, as long as those specifications are designated in a check’s memo line, Mrs. Kemple said.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, recently secured $185,000 in special funding to be split between River Community Wellness and the Pfc. Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans, based at 247 State St., Watertown.

Mrs. Kemple said the program needs more support so it can accommodate another group of 10 soldiers, for a total of 20.

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