Over 250 supporters celebrated the Hill Country Memorial Hospital Foundation’s 20th birthday Thursday evening at Lady Bird Johnson Pioneer Pavilion.
Sharon Joseph, HCMH Foundation board member, emceed the event. She expressed appreciation and admiration to the foundation founders, contributors and volunteers. She said, "We are here to celebrate you."
HCMH Foundation board member Sherry Freeman led the attendees in prayer before dinner. After dining, James F. Kemp, the first HCMH Foundation chairman, joined current Chairman Mike Tomforde, and the two blew out candles on a three-tier, 20-year birthday cake.
Ms. Joseph then addressed the audience and shared stories of the HCMH Foundation accomplishments, which included raising funds for the following hospital projects: the cardiac rehabilitation program, the Wellness Center aquatic facility, the Women’s Pavilion, the Don and Julie Holden Intensive Care Unit, the Brune Professional Building, the Breast Center, the Cancer Resource Center, and most recently, angiography equipment for two catheterization labs.
Ms. Joseph recognized the leadership of Mike Tomforde as the Foundation chairman for the past 17 years. "He has never missed a ground breaking, ribbon cutting or grand opening," she said. She also emphasized the support of his wife, Jody. "She…has been there beside him in his service to the Foundation. They have been hosts, underwriter chairmen and advisors… When asked to serve in any capacity, their response has always been, ‘We’ll do it for the hospital.’"
She then asked the present members of the charter board of the hospital, original medical staff, the original foundation board and current foundation board members to stand and be recognized. The crowd gave them a rousing ovation.
Attendees then watched a video presentation which highlighted the community’s historical support for the hospital, physician and nurse dedication and patient appreciation for the care received at Hill Country Memorial.
Breast cancer survivor Donna McMahon is a former Hill Country Memorial patient whose testimony is captured in the video. She said, "When I was diagnosed, I asked my doctor if this was ‘the best place for me to be treated. If I was your wife, would you recommend I stay here?’ He answered, ‘Absolutely… You will receive more personal care here than you will anywhere else.’"
As guests departed, they received a commemorative book filled with pictures and quotes from foundation and hospital leaders over the 20-year history.
Ron Woellhof, HCMH Foundation donor recognition chair, said, "There’s a great sense of responsibility in our community to provide for our health care needs. It’s a calling that so many have answered. When you look around this room, view this video and look through this book, it’s easy to see why our foundation has been able to do so much—it’s the people."
Sandy Goff, executive director of the HCMH Foundation said, "Our community should be proud. We have many reasons to celebrate and be thankful. The promise of health care philanthropy is the ability to change lives and the power to save lives. When you pause, after two decades, and contemplate all the people and all the resources that have joined forces to fulfill that promise, it’s remarkable—it’s truly remarkable."