Trumbull group helps seniors get medication

By William K. Alcorn


The Avamar Foundation, which helps financially disadvantaged Trumbull County residents over 65 pay for prescription medications, recently received $35,000 from the Trumbull Memorial Health Foundation.

“We are thrilled to be assisting the senior residents of Trumbull County with their prescriptions,” said David Kostolansky, chairman of the TMHF board of trustees.

“With the increasing cost of these vital medications, we know that these funds will be of great assistance to our local seniors, just as our donors had intended,” he said.

The board chose the Avamar Foundation because it provides funds for the same mission as did TMHF’s Senior Grace Fund, which contained $35,000 to be used for the same purpose, he said.

TMHF was incorporated in 1976 as an Ohio nonprofit corporation, with its supported organization and sole member being Trumbull Memorial Hospital. However, in March 2009 Forum Health, Trumbull Memorial Hospital and the Foundation along with other related entities, filed for Chapter 11 in Federal Bankruptcy Court.

Eventually, the foundation was released from the bankruptcy process and it affiliated with the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley in July 2012.

Funds from TMHF are to be used to support the health care needs of Trumbull County residents.

The Avamar Foundation also saw an urgent need among its elderly patients in their community, with many of them unable to afford prescription medication, said Dr. Farid Naffah of Avamar Gastroenterology and Center for Endoscopy in Howland.

In 2008 the clinic decided to assist those in need by hosting its first fundraiser, “An Evening Under the Stars,” which has become an yearly event.

The sixth annual Avamar Foundation “An Evening Under the Stars” benefit, expanded this year to two evenings, is Aug. 16 and 17 outdoors at the Cadobaz (Culture, Arts and Dining of Bazetta) on Dr. Naffah’s private estate at 2747 Cadwallader-Sonk Road in Bazetta. Last year’s event raised more than $60,000.

A regular single ticket costs $175 and preferred seating is $275. A table of eight Gold Sponsor is $1,400 and $2,200 for Platinum Sponsor. Call 330-539-9999 for information and tickets.

Avamar Foundation’s governing board members donate their time for fundraising, so all funds collected are used assist the disadvantaged elderly in buying prescription medication, Dr. Naffah said.

“We have a particular affection for seniors. We are a small foundation and have to limit ourselves. We chose to help seniors because they are a part of our lives and our practices. We perceive their needs and feel for them.

“Our strategy is to have a beautiful party, a community event. The side affect is donations to a good cause,” he said.

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