Donors, volunteers help beautify Share Medical Center
Volunteers at Share Medical Center (SMC) have finished landscaping the Don Bellah Memorial Sculpture Garden and the hospital grounds thanks to donations provided by local businesses and individuals. SMC volunteers Lynn Heasley, Dr. Kenneth Brown, and inmates from Bill Johnson Correctional Center have been working since the middle of August to get trees, bushes and ornamental grasses planted before winter.
“In May, the SMC volunteer program held a Cow Patty Bingo contest to raise funds towards the purchase of landscaping materials. The contest ended on July 4th,” said Janet Valencia, volunteer coordinator.
Donations for a ticket for a $500 prize were received from local businesses and individuals. Jessica Elmore of Enid was awarded the prize for her winning square. The remaining proceeds went to purchase needed materials.
“Close to 20 people showed up to cheer on the calf and witness ‘the drop’. Larry and Joy Glass had visiting friends from the Czech Republic and had heard about the Cow Patty Bingo contest and wanted to attend the event. They had just shown up when the cow picked a winner”, said Valencia. “Attendees had a great time and many stayed afterwards to visit. It was a lot of fun!”
Proceeds from the event went to purchase landscaping materials and a plaque for the memorial garden. The sculptures in the memorial garden were crafted by the late Don Bellah and were donated to the SMC Foundation by Betty Jo Pangburn in August of 2012 as a memorial to her late husband. The memorial garden was completed just prior to Pangburn’s death. “We are pleased that Betty Jo and her husband Sam got to see the sculptures on display before her death,” said Valencia.
“Trees and art are passions of mine. I wanted SMC to join in the art movement happening in Alva and I also wanted to help the exterior of the hospital look softer and inviting. Thanks to Betty Jo and many others, we were able to do both.”
“The hospital building has been here for 40 years and has had only one stunted redbud tree on the grounds the entire time,” said Kandice Allen, CEO of SMC. “When we renovated the building in 2004, no thought was given to landscaping. It was not something we could afford. When Janet came to work at SMC in April of 2012, she came in immediately and started asking why we weren’t landscaping the grounds. She began working towards finding funding for landscaping.”
“I researched and applied for grants to help the hospital with their landscaping needs. Due to the sequester, the grants we applied for were not funded, so we had to come up with another plan,” Valencia said.
The volunteers were brought together as a group and were asked for suggestions on how they could make some improvements to the hospital exterior, Valencia stated. The Cow Patty Bingo contest was their recommendation. The volunteers and employees worked for two months selling tickets to fund this project and are proud of what they were able to accomplish.
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