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Foundation Cancels In Person Portion of Summer Fundraiser

Decision made in light of uptick in COVID-19 cases around the region.

In the midst of a rise in COVID-19 cases across the region, The Foundation of Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) is cancelling its annual summer fundraiser, Oh La La Paris, scheduled for tomorrow, August 21 at the U.S. Oval.

“We remained hopeful throughout the summer that we could hold the event, keeping in contact with the Clinton County Health Department on a regular basis to stay informed on the potential impact of COVID-19 on our region,” CVPH Associate Vice President of Philanthropy Kerry Haley, CFRE offered. “We also planned on taking numerous precautions, including the use of an outdoor venue, spacing considerations and providing masks and hand sanitizer. Unfortunately, the risk of spread was just too high even with these measures in place.”

The Oh La La Paris virtual auction, open since Wednesday, August 18 continues with online bidding until Monday, August 23 at

The event’s live auction, however will be included in a virtual event planned for late October. At that time, the Foundation will also present the very first Larry W. Jeffords Legacy Award to a founding member of The CVPH Foundation, Ralph T. Boire. Additional information will be posted on the event’s page at

Through Wednesday night, the Clinton County Health Department (CCHD) recorded 31 people in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 and an additional 44 individuals are in quarantine. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Clinton County’s level of community transmission of COVID-19 is labeled as moderate, while neighboring Franklin and Essex Counties are in the high category.

“The last few weeks have seen fairly sustained increases in cases across our three county region. The same is true across New York State. At the same time, our vaccines are not quite as effective against delta as against previous variants,” CVPH Vice President for Population Health and Information Services Wouter Rietsema, MD explained.

“Fully vaccinated individuals remain largely protected from hospitalization and serious illness, but that is not necessarily true of people who they have contact with,” Dr. Rietsema continued. “The Foundation’s event would have involved putting people together in relatively close proximity, eating and drinking. Although it would be outdoors, it is under a tent, and we know that transmission of the delta variant can occur in this scenario.”

“As a health care institution, it is important that we play a leading role in protecting the health of the community,” CVPH President and Chief Operating Officer Michelle LeBeau, RN, BS, MHRM added. “Given the rise in cases and how quickly and easily the delta variant can spread, this is the right thing to do for our loved ones, neighbors and fellow community members.”

The Foundation of CVPH Board President Deb Cleary added, “One of the goals of this annual event is to raise money to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities. By cancelling this event and helping to prevent any spreading of this opportunistic virus, The Foundation is doing what it can to help keep people healthy.”

Funds raised by The Foundation benefit CVPH patients and employees, as well as the community.

Haley said The Foundation remains grateful for the support local businesses and community members continue to offer in these challenging times. “It’s incredible to see how much capacity people in this area have to give and help each other. Your generosity truly makes a difference for so many lives in our community, and we appreciate the opportunity to be a part of that.”