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Mar 21, 2008 1:33 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Couple Makes $1 Million Donation to PBMC

Mar 21, 2008 1:33 PM

Relatives of the family that founded a local construction supply business are hoping that their $1 million donation to Peconic Bay Medical Center will encourage others to invest in helping expand the Riverhead hospital.?Bobby Goodale, the current chairman of Peconic Bay's Board of Directors and a 15-year member of the board, and his wife, Dhonna, announced their donation during the hospital's Candlelight Ball, an annual fund-raiser held earlier this month in Wading River. The Goodales, who live on the water in Flanders, said they hope that their donation, which will be given over several years, will encourage other philanthropists to offer their financial support to the growing medical center.?"I donated the money for a number of reasons, one of which is to help support the building of the surgical center and also to continue my family's involvement in Peconic Bay," Mr. Goodale said.?Mr. Goodale's father, Jesse Goodale, helped raise funds during Peconic Bay's last capital campaign back in 1983. Jesse Goodale and his brother, Harold, founded Riverhead Building Supply in 1948. The chain operates 10 locations across Long Island, including stores in Riverhead, Hampton Bays, Southampton, East Hampton and Montauk, as well as six showrooms.?Since the donation announcement was made, Mr. Goodale said he has heard of several prospective donors who have expressed interest in following the lead set by him and his wife. He could not confirm any names during an interview this week at his Flanders home.?Ms. Goodale explained that her husband's family taught them to be community-minded people. She added that it makes sense to donate to Peconic Bay because she and her husband can help a lot of people at once because, from "birth to death, you or someone you know will go through the doors of the hospital."?Mr. Goodale, who is originally from Aquebogue and has always lived within 10 minutes of the Riverhead hospital, recently retired as vice president of Riverhead Building Supply, but still spends between 15-20 hours a week working on the board. His wife interjected, stating that it's more like 30 to 40 hours.?"Peconic Bay is Bobby's wife," Ms. Goodale joked. "I'm just his mistress!"?Ms. Goodale cites Oprah's Angel Network, as well as her godmother, R&B singer Roberta Flack, as her sources of inspiration for presenting hospital officials with the unexpected gift. "We raised $40,000 for Peconic Bay when Ms. Flack sang at the Riverhead High School's 1977 30th class reunion at Atlantis Marine World in September," said Ms. Goodale.?Ms. Goodale just returned from a two-week tour in Japan as a background singer for Ms. Flack. In addition, Ms. Goodale runs a company, called Goodale Productions, based on Park Avenue in Manhattan, that is now working on two movies: "The Suicide Angel" and "The Oval Portrait."?The Goodales's two sons, Jesse and Jared, both were born at the medical center.?Ms. Goodale was born in Harlem and raised on the East End. She explained that she was raised by a single mother with welfare assistance. She added that her background proves that "no matter what obstacles you have to overcome, no matter what your circumstances are, you can make a difference."?The hospital's capital campaign, which raises funds to help finance expansion projects, now stands at $6 million, according to Tim Kelly, director of public relations for Peconic Bay. He added that the campaign was started about three years ago and its goal is to raise a total of $6.5 million for the expansion project.?In February, hospital officials opened the doors to their new $8 million emergency wing, marking the completion of the first phase of its $50 million expansion and renovation project. Ground was recently broken on the medical center's new surgical wing, which officials hope will open at the beginning of next year.?"It's unclear where the money in the donation will go," Mr. Goodale said. "The campaign raises money for both the emergency room and the surgical wing, but we didn't make the donation specific to any one part of the overall project."?Explaining why he decided to donate $1 million, Mr. Goodale said he understands that it is very difficult to keep a hospital open and operating in the black when faced with increased costs and low reimbursement rates from insurance companies. He also noted that the growing number of senior citizens on the East End will ultimately result in a greater dependency on the Riverhead hospital.?"Ninety percent of the use of the hospital occurs at the end of one's life," Mr. Goodale said.?"The new emergency room helps all segments of the population," added Mr. Kelly. "The better the facility, the better the services provided."

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