Employees from Albany Motorcars present a check for $36,389 to representatives of Phoebe Foundation’s Mary Lynn Mason Endowment. From left are Albany Motorcars employees Janet Elliott, Karen Smith and Chris Grasman, along with Dr. James Mason. (Staff Photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — The Phoebe Foundation received a financial boost to one of its programs this week when Albany Motorcars donated more than $40,000 to the foundation’s Mary Lynn Mason Endowment at Wednesday’s Hosptial Board meeting.
Named after Mary Lynn Mason, who died of breast cancer in 2010, the foundation provides financial assistance to those needing overnight lodging during cancer treatment and for those needing pain and nausea medications.
According to Phoebe Foundation Executive Director Lauren Gray, the seeds for the endowment were laid by Mason’s husband, Dr. James Mason, and other family and friends who knew Mason wanted to help the people she met in the waiting rooms who were less fortunate than she was.
“In the face of extreme tragedy and loss, Dr. Mason made something beautiful happen in the passing of his wife who lost her life to breast cancer,” said Gray. “And it was Mary Lynn’s hope and desire that the people that she met in her waiting rooms were helped.”
Representing Albany Motorcars at the Hospital Board meeting was employee Karen Smith, who explained to the board how pleased the dealership was to be able to do something for the worthy cause.
“As a dealership we are definitely humbled,” Smith said. “This has probably been the best opportunity we’ve had as a dealership, not only to participate in something worthwhile but also involve the community.”
Smith said the business had 554 paid participants at this year’s walk and was able to raise $45,004 for the endowment, up from the $22,100 the dealership raised in 2013.
The vast majority of the donation, $39,389, came from the participant donations, while the dealership added $5,615 and event partner Sam’s Club added $3,000.
“The day of the walk, we had over 400 people at our dealership,” said Smith. “It was very chaotic; it was a lot of fun and there were a lot of special people there.”
James Mason, who was present at the meeting on behalf of the endowment, took time to thank Albany Motorcars and Sam’s Club for the donation.
“I’d just like to thank everybody for helping to contribute to this very worthwhile cause,” Mason said. “It’s difficult for people who are going through chemotherapy to be comfortable. I think it’s a worthwhile cause.”