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December 06, 2004 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-12-06

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 6, 2004IN EWS
Tag Days raise money for children's hospital

By Rachel Kruer
Daily StaffReporter
Medical student Rusty Rae played the part
of one of Santa's elves for eight hours this past
weekend, raising money to put smiles on the
faces of hospitalized children.
As a fourth-year medical student, Rae has lit-
tle time to spare between residency interviews.
But on Friday morning by 8 a.m., Rae was out-
side - bucket in hand - asking students and
citizens of Ann Arbor for donations. He spent
eight hours in the cold raising money for Galen's
Tag Days, which ran throughout Friday and Sat-
urday.
This year marked the 78th Galen's Tag Days.
Galen's Medical Society, an group of medi-
cal school students, organizes the event to raise
money for the University's C.S. Mott Hospital and
other charities.
About 80 percent of the proceeds pay for toys
and games to be placed in a recreational facility
for the children of the hospital. Society President
Kirsten Salmeen said these gifts raise the morale
of the children of Mott's Hospital. "It gives the
opportunity for kids that are hospital-bound to act
like kids."
Salmeen, a fourth-year medical student, also
mentioned how during one of her clinicals she
witnessed first-hand the benefits of the playing
facility. Salmeen said the safe play area allowed
one mother to let her three-year-old play, grant-
ing her time to focus on her baby, who was born
with heart defects.
"It's the smallest things that change these peo-
ple's days," she said.
The other 20 percent of the proceeds go to
various organizations that help the children of
Washtenaw County. In the past, GMS has distrib-
uted the additional money to Ann Arbor's Corner

About 80 percent of the proceeds pay for toys
and games to be placed in a recreational
facility for the children of the hospital.

Health Center, the Ronald McDonald House and
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.
This year the total of all the collected buckets
reached $43,677. This accounts for 60 percent
of the total revenue, Salmeen said. A mail drive
targeting about 3,500 alumni, previous donors,
faculty and physicians brings in the remaining
40 percent. So far, Salmeen estimates that the
society has raised about $8,000 through the
mail-in campaign. The drive will continue into
February.
She added that in years past, the overall rev-
enue ranged from $50,000 to $80,000.
Every bucket contained the picture of this
year's poster child, Allie. Since her infancy,
Allie has been in and out of the hospital due to
cystic fibrosis. Third-year medical student Cara
Cimmino interacted with the 7 year old during
one of her pediatric clinicals.
"She's very bubbly and even drew pictures for
the staff members. She's had her ups and downs,
but she's always been a tough, mature kid. It's
a sad fact, but she knows everything about her
care," Cimmino said.
The event is two days long and always takes
place the first Friday and Saturday of Decem-
ber. On Friday, GMS members dispersed into
the streets of Ann Arbor at 6 a.m. With shifts
of three to four hours, volunteers alternated late
into the night until the end of Midnight Mad-
ness, during which Main Street shops annually
kick off the holiday shopping season by staying
open late. On Saturday, people in red smocks

clutching buckets could be visible from 8 a.m.
to 6 p.m.
Salmeen estimated that, about 130 people lent
their time to raise money. She attributed this
nearly 25 percent increase from previous years
to the inclusion of many non-GMS members
who wanted to help the cause.
On Saturday, Rae took on another shift to
stand outside from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to collect
money outside of the Michigan Union. However,
Rae said he was not as successful as the previous
day, when he was positioned in front of Mott. He
claimed that he and two other people stationed
with him raised between $5,000 and $6,000 in a
span of eight hours.
The majority of the money came from checks
that physicians and other patrons of the hospital
prepared to donate in advance. "This is a tradi-
tion that people look forward to every year," he
explained.
Faculty showed their support for Rae and
other volunteers him by taking off time to drive
the "happy vans." The mission of the happy
vans, according to Medical Prof. David Rosen,
was to distribute hot chocolate, food and other
aid for those collecting money.
As a student member of the society while
attending the Medical School, Rosen participated
in the event for three consecutive years. He added
that he has assisted the event 11 out of the 14 years
he has been a faculty member at the University.
"We want the students to know that the (faculty)
are there to support them," he said.

Medical School student Cathy Bluteau collects money Friday in front of
Union for Galen's Tag Days. The fundraiser raises money for C.S. Mott CI

W. Michigan air quality shows improvement
GRAND RAPIDS (AP) - Air qual- day story. director of corporate environmental
A fresh breath ity in western Michigan has improved "It should be good news. I think performance.
in recent years, a change officials attri- everybody should take it as that," Two other Steelcase plants also
Examples of air emission improvements bute in part to manufacturers cleaning Borgelt said. But she added: "I'm sure showed large declines: one to about
up smokestack emissions and the state's the economy has something to do with 76,000 pounds in 2002 from 309,000
Kent County - 80percent decline in toxic manufacturing decline. it." pounds in 2000, and to 12,108 pounds
e mi ssionsPreliminary reports from the Envi- The dramatic decline in Kent County's at the Kentwood complex in 2002 from
ronmental Protection Agency indicate air pollution numbers can be tracked to 138,600 in 2000.
Ottawa County, third worst polluting county in that factories in Kent County emitted several of its largest polluters. "When you look at those air emis-
the state and 59th worst in the nation - 36 fewer than 540,000 pounds of toxic air In 2000, one of the factories belong- sion numbers, there has been a fairly
percent decline in 2003, an 80 percent decline from the ing to Venture Grand Rapids, an auto- nice decrease," said Janet Vail, asso-
2.6 million pounds in 1999. motive plastics manufacturer, spewed ciate professor at Grand Valley State
Steelcase Inc. - closed one plant and Ottawa County saw a drop of 36 per- 639,000 pounds of toxins that year. By University's Annis Water Resources
showed declines in two others, amounting cent to 3.5 million pounds, and Allegan 2002, the plant's air pollution ended as Institute. "A lot of companies are
to more than half a million pounds less of and Muskegon counties experienced its production declined. changing their procedures and practic-
emissions similar rates of decline. Similarly, Steelcase Inc.'s wood fur- ing pollution prevention. I guess the
Factories have been cleaning up niture plant emitted 377,171 pounds in word is out."
Venture Grand Rapids - declining production emissions, but the state's manufacturing 2000, but closed the following year. In Coal-fired power plants remain the
eads to reduction of 639,000 pounds of toxic losses also explain the cleaner air, Ruth its place was built a new factory that will worst polluters in Ottawa County,
releases Borgelt, an analyst for the Michigan cut pollution by replacing solvent-based which is third in toxic emissions only to
Department of Environmental Quality, painting systems with water-soluble Wayne and Monroe counties, and 59th
told The Grand Rapids Press for a Sun- systems, said David Rinard, Steelcase's in the nation.

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