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Santa’s elves come early to CGH Health Foundation

Foundation news | Monday, December 11, 2017

Contact: Joan Hermes

Grateful thanks to the very generous folks at Angelo’s Pizzerias for their recent $16,230 gift to the CGH Health Foundation. They donated $1 for every pizza sold in October from their four restaurants to benefit breast cancer awareness.

From left are employees Danielle Dempsey, Stephanie Celletti and Michelle Hodge, operations manager, along with Joan Hermes, CGH Health Foundation executive director.

STERLING (December 1, 2017) – Santa’s elves made an early appearance this year in the Sauk Valley, delivering a very special gift to the CGH Health Foundation.

Led by head elf Michelle Hodge, operations manager at Angelo’s Pizzeria, a gift of $16,230 was merrily presented this past month to Joan Hermes, Foundation executive director. Overwhelming response to the restaurant’s October pizza promotion for breast cancer awareness made it possible.

“It was a very touching month, from the first day on,” said Hodge. ”We had one woman, who is a breast cancer survivor, come in and tell our servers that every single day of October she wears a different pink shirt. She was so happy that she was able to get a pink Angelo’s shirt to add to her collection.”

Originally, pink shirts were worn by Angelo’s staff, but so many customers requested shirts that more were ordered and sold at Angelo’s II, Sterling. Besides the pink shirts, signs and table tents were put in all four restaurants. Flyers were attached to every pizza box and the pledge to donate $1 per pizza during October was posted on their Facebook page.“We figured the more people that knew, the more money we would be able to donate,” said Hodge. “From the very first day of October we had positive feedback from the community.”

Another customer, who was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, told a manager she was pleased with their contribution and “happy we were keeping the donation in the community,” said Hodge. “I can say that whenever I walked into an Angelo’s at any time during October, seeing all that pink really made me proud of what Angelo’s was doing.”

The funds will provide mammograms, diagnostic testing, Pap tests and visits to healthcare providers for area women in need. The Foundation has been devoted to raising awareness about early detection of breast cancer for almost three decades, according to Hermes. “We are thrilled and humbled that Angelo’s has chosen to partner with us in this important cause.”

The communities of Sterling, Rock Falls, and Dixon mean a great deal to the Wayne Wright Family, owners of Angelo’s since the mid-1950s. “The second and third generations are now running the business,” said Hodge. “They all grew up here - this is their home and this was one way for them to give something back to our community.”

The thought behind the promotion was that most everyone could identify with this disease, that area residents would be remembering a special someone in their lives during the month of October.

“In behalf of our local women, we want to bring some light to their lives so they can get the healthcare services they deserve,” said Hodge. “If Angelo’s contribution can help one person get an early diagnosis or give that assurance to others that there are no problems, then we will have succeeded. We might not have a cure yet, but we have hope and we have each other.”