In the Winter 2022 newsletter, the Unity Medical Center Foundation announced its plans to install eight memorial benches around the perimeter of UMC’s property to give patients, staff and the community a place to enjoy the outdoors when able.
I understood that previous wooden memorial benches at UMC hadn’t aged well, so it was our goal to install recycled plastic benches that would last much longer, similar to what has been installed at Lestikow Park and elsewhere.
These benches will honor loved ones who have passed away, such as Frances Boulduc, a long-time employee of the Life Skills and Transition Center and mother of Beverly Graber, Fran Coulthart, Richard and Michael Boulduc, Mary Hills and Irene Olson. I hope this bench, which will face Western Ave., a busy road in Grafton, will help family members and the community think of Frances and her family as they drive or walk by. Keep an eye out for other memorial benches to be installed in the future.
In other news, Deb and I took a few minutes to reflect on the oneyear anniversary of the Foundation’s new office space in March. When the renovation project first began, we wondered if it would truly increase the number of visitors. Would people be able to find us if we weren’t physically in the hospital building?
Now we can say with certainty that it has been a wonderful move! Guests stop by quickly as they run other errands, or come in to visit with us if they are able to stay longer. During the Harvest Auction, it was wonderful to have all auction items stored in our garage, and it’s always fun to have an Open House like Giving Hearts Day and celebrate the region’s generosity. We are grateful to Unity CEO Alan O’Neil for having the idea of a business office across the street from the hospital, where the Foundation could live, and we are grateful for Wally Nomeland for selling her home to UMC!
I also want to thank Unity’s governing board chair Jo Petersen for testing a peer-to-peer fundraising platform for UMCF when she created a birthday fundraiser on Facebook. If you have Facebook, you may have seen similar fundraisers and wondered whether the intended nonprofit actually receives the funds, and the answer is yes. This is actually a really easy way to fundraise in the 21st century. UMCF is a registered nonprofit through Facebook, and Facebook uses Network for Good to process these gifts. It’s a growing trend, and we are grateful to those who use it to support their local rural health care facility