UNION — A campaign to help an Upstate children’s hospital began on Tuesday with the release of multiple balloons.
Walmart staff launched a Children’s Miracle Network fund raising campaign Tuesday morning with a special balloon release. The campaign will run from May 7-June 21, and all funds will go to the Children’s Hospital of Greenville.
Team Captain Stacy Farr said some of the balloons were released in memory of loved ones and others were released in thankfulness for help received from the hospital.
Rosemary Rice — who has worked at Walmart more than 20 years — said she released a balloon in memory of a co-worker, Lisa Sims.
“Lisa passed away last year on March 6,” Rice said. “She was an associate in shoes and jewelry here for about 23 years, and she was one of my best friends.”
Rice also released a balloon in honor of Sims’ son, Christian. She said Sims was bedridden for two months at the Children’s Hospital of Greenville during her pregnancy with Christian, who was born prematurely. She also said Christian grew up to be healthy and is now a member of the Union County High School band.
A former patient of the Children’s Hospital of Greenville — Zachary Raines — was also present during Tuesday’s balloon release along with his mother and grandmother. He was transferred to the hospital after having spinal surgery because he is apt to have seizures, which could have been triggered by his anesthesia. Zachary’s mother, Amanda, had nothing but positive feedback about the hospital.
“They were awesome,” she said. “Zachary spent the week there, and they gave gifts to the kids daily. They let them choose gifts off of a cart.”
She said the hospital also treated the patients’ families with meal cards to relieve them of food expenses.
The fund raising goal of the campaign is $10,000, and Farr said events will include yard sales, hot dog sales, a skate night, a barbecue in the store parking lot Memorial Day weekend, cashiers collecting donations from customers, and donations from associates.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.