85-year-old raising money for Brenner Children’s Hospital patients

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- An 85-year-old Winston-Salem woman has spent 20 years of her retirement raising money for patients at Brenner Children’s Hospital.

“I have a lot of energy, so I can do it,” Mary Alspaugh said, laughingly. “It’ll keep me off the street, keep me out of trouble.”

Alspaugh says she worked at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for about 20 years. There, she witnessed the care given to some of the smallest patients at the hospital.

“The doctors do not let these babies, especially the preemies, they don’t let them die,” she said. “They sit right by their bed all night long.”

When she retired, Alspaugh created a program called “Santa’s Elves,” which raises money for the patients every year.

“It just gives you a good feeling to help,” she said.

Alspaugh sends out letters to more than one thousand people asking for donations of $100. However, some give less, while others give more. So far, she’s raised about $200,000 over the two decades.

“I tell people, don’t be embarrassed because you can’t send $100. Four 25s make a hundred,” she joked.

Past donations have gone toward in-home nursing visits, toys and filling stockings for the patients. This year, donations will be spent creating a music therapy room at Brenner Children’s, which will include a recording studio, performance stage and instruments and a music therapist.

Alspaugh’s goal is to reach $10,000 in donations every year. This year, with your help, she’s hoping to raise much more.

“There’s a lot of wonderful people out there, so I’m hoping they’ll respond,” she said.

If you would like to contribute, you can call the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Development Officer at (336)716-4589 or visit brennerchildrens.abilafundraisingonline.com/santaself.

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