The eighth annual "Laughter is the best Medicine
Comedy Gala - Treasure Your Health" featuring Dale Gonyea
was a Great Success.
A Big Thanks to
New Foundation Board Members
April 30, 2013 - The Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation Board
of Trustees welcomed 7 new board members to its ranks as they were
sworn in on April 18 during the Foundation’s quarterly board
“I am so pleased to welcome new board members Matt Koger,
Mary Jane Vance, Bonnie Dooley, Loretta Kibler, Renea Decker, Jerry
Hutton and Fred Weidmann,” said Chair of the Foundation board
Dr. Koger, a family practice physician, has been with Primary
Care Associates (PCA) since 2000. He is a member of the American
Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, and the American
Academy of Family Practice. Dr. Koger lives in Greenville with his
wife and four children. In his spare time he enjoys fishing and
playing the guitar.
Dr. Mary Jane Vance is presently a consultant, author and speaker
who has been educating Texas and the nation since 1955. She recently
published a book titled “Mary of the Angels.” She currently
resides in Greenville with husband Charles Vance.
Bonnie Dooley is owner of the Copier Connection, located at 10425
Wesley St, which she established in 1994. She lives in Greenville
with husband Tim Dooley and they have two daughters.
Loretta Kibler was the Commerce Independent School District Superintendent
from 1994-2001. Kibler has held numerous positions on many boards
in the Tri-County area including Chair of Board for the Tri-County
Special Education Shared Services, Region 10 Advisory Council, the
Texas A&M University System and The Texas Education Agency Council
of School Executives, and many more. Kibler currently resides in
Commerce. She has two daughters and five grandchildren.
Renea Decker was a nurse at Hunt Regional Medical Center and its
predecessors for 29 years, including serving as nursing director
for the last two years before she retired. She is also a cancer
survivor and an active cancer volunteer here in Greenville.
Jerry B. Hutton is a Professor Emeritus for Psychology and Special
Education at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Hutton is an active
member of the First United Methodist Church in Commerce and is currently
member of Chancel Choir and Foundation Board. Hutton is married
to Sandra Jeane Brumlow. They have five children and five grandchildren,
and have been Hunt County residents since 2000.
Fred Weidmann is a retired vice president for General Dynamics Canada
and a current Greenville Rotary program chair. He lives in Greenville
with his wife Cheryl and they have three children.
“The willingness of these individuals to serve our community
through this Foundation is something to be commended,” said
Lane. “I look forward to working together on current and future
healthcare endeavors for Hunt County.”
The HRH Foundation coordinates all fundraising activities on behalf
of Hunt Regional Medical Center, Hunt Regional Community Hospital,
and related programs and services administered by Hunt Regional
Hunt Regional Healthcare has always remained true to its goals of
improving the health of the communities it serves while providing
medical excellence and compassionate patient care through our medical
facilities and outreach programs.
The Foundation strives to strengthen HRH medical programs and staff,
to upgrade facilities, to acquire new, state-of-the-art equipment
and technologies, and to address Hunt County’s emerging healthcare
needs. The same can be said for the 7 new HRH Foundation trustees.
Loretta Kibler, Dr. Jerry Hutton, Renea Decker,
Bonnie Dooley, Fred Weidmann, Dr. Mary Jane Vance, and Dr. Matt
Koger joined the Hunt Regional Foundation Board on April 18.
Wittkopf heads Hunt Regional Healthcare
March 6, 2013 - Alicia Wittkopf, a member of the advancement staff
at Texas A&M University-Commerce for the last five years, has
been named director of the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation and
the Department of Development and Communications.
are excited to have Alicia on board to provide leadership for our
Foundation,” said Richard Carter, CEO of Hunt Regional Healthcare,
a growing regional healthcare organization with hospitals in Greenville
and Commerce and programs elsewhere in the area.
“The Foundation has played an increasing role in providing
resources to help strengthen our healthcare programs,” Carter
said. “We are building a regional organization that has taken
the lead in providing healthcare of the highest quality to the people
we serve, and the Foundation is a big part of that,” Carter
The Foundation has generated nearly $3,000,000 in gifts since it
began seeking philanthropic support in 2005.
As part of her responsibilities, Wittkopf also will oversee marketing,
communication, public relations and other community outreach initiatives
for Hunt Regional Healthcare.
Wittkopf joined the A&M-Commerce fundraising staff in 2007.
She was promoted to Director of Advancement Services in 2010, where
she coordinated the stewardship program, prospect management, endowments
and scholarships, annual programs, donor recognition, and related
She also served as a liaison to the A&M-Commerce Foundation.
She began her new role at HRH on February 25.
A long time resident of Hunt County, Wittkopf holds a B.S. degree
in biology from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She and husband
Gabe, a Commerce firefighter/EMT, are the parents of Allie(10) and
“There are many healthcare needs to meet and just as many
opportunities to provide solutions,” Wittkopf said. “Our
healthcare foundation will take the lead in continuing to make that
As an example, Wittkopf cited the Foundation’s current initiative
to bring life saving mobile mammography to Hunt County where only
about 50 percent of women receive regular screening mammograms.
“We will look to Alicia for leadership and new ideas to
help the Foundation make a difference in patients' lives,”
said Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation Board Chair Roz Lane of
Greenville. “We have every confidence that she will excel,”
The new director succeeds retiring Jack B. Gray. He joined Hunt
Regional Healthcare to mobilize the foundation, which had been dormant
for many years.
Hospital Foundation’s 8th Gala
raises $130,000 to fight cancer
February 4, 2013 - More than $130,000 was raised Saturday night
(Feb. 2) to fight cancer in the Hunt County area.
The Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation will use the funds to help
underwrite a mobile mammography unit that will “fight cancer
in the field”. Gala funds also will continue to underwrite
the FitSTEPS for Life® program that helps rehabilitate and extend
the lives of people touched by cancer. FitSTEPS is offered at Hunt
Regional Medical Center at Greenville without charge to qualified
The purpose of mobile mammography is to take the service directly
to the community.
In Hunt County, which has among the highest incidence rates for
cancer in Texas, only about one of every two eligible women receives
an annual mammogram.
“Early detection of breast cancer is critical to the survival
rate,” said W.D. Hilton, Jr., former chair of the Foundation
board. Hilton is chairing a Foundation campaign that is currently
underway to reduce the incidence of breast cancer locally through
early detection of the disease.
His co-chairs for that effort are Foundation trustees Larry Green,
Jr., and Bill Rolston.
Hilton said that the Foundation board has made great strides in
reaching the fundraising goal, and that the mammography unit has
already been purchased and should be operational by late April.
The mobile mammography van, which has a price tag of $400,000,
was named last week in memory of the late Nita “Tubby”
Adkisson, Greenville civic and business leader for more than a half
century and a key Foundation volunteer for many years.
“The Foundation’s 8th annual Laughter is the Best
Medicine comedy gala set new attendance and fundraising records,”
said event co-chairs Peggy Cole and Marsha Fincher.
A crowd of more than 340 packed the ball room at the Sam Rayburn
Students Center at Texas A&M Commerce.
ticket sales, and a charity raffle for a $3,000 diamond dinner ring
produced a fundraising record as well. The ring was donated by David
and Jan Williams of Taylor Bros. Jewelers.
The crowd was wowed by comedic pianist Dale Gonyea and Dr. Don
Newbury, emcee for the third consecutive year. Gonyea tied East
Texas culture into his wide-ranging comedy routine.
2013 Friends of the Foundation award recipients,
Mrs. Norma Mitchell and
Dr. and Mrs. James Sandin
One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the
annual Harold Curtis Friend of the Foundation Award to philanthropist
Norma Mitchell and Dr. and Mrs. James Sandin.
“Both recipients are so deserving,” said Foundation
board chair Roz Lane, who was joined by the late Mr. Curtis’
daughter Leah Curtis in making the presentations.
“We established an award in Harold’s memory because
of his 50-year relationship as legal counsel for the hospital,”
said Jack Gray, Director of the Foundation. “He was a leader
in establishing the Foundation to fund health care improvements
in our service area,” gray said, “and we wanted to annually
honor people with his sense of commitment to supporting quality
Hunt Regional Healthcare CEO Richard Carter said that the results
“The Gala has become a tremendous tradition for the Foundation
and the community,” Carter said. “The funds the Foundation
has brought in from so many generous businesses and individuals
has made a huge difference in moving Hunt County healthcare from
good to great.”
Contributions to the Gala have increased every year since it started
A Big Thanks to
Help on Wheels
5, 2012 - The Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation announced today
that it is spearheading a project that will make earlier detection
of breast cancer a reality for women throughout the service area of
Hunt Regional Medical Center.
Early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer, and mammography
is the key to detecting breast cancer at an early stage. But in
Hunt County, about 50 percent of women don’t receive the mammograms
The Foundation has launched the Help on Wheels fundraising campaign
to bring mobile mammography to the region.
“The funding we generate will go 100 percent toward the purchase
of a state-of-the-art mobile mammography unit,” said W. D.
Hilton Jr., a former Foundation board chair who is heading up the
campaign. “To make mobile mammography happen locally, we will
need broad support from people throughout the area.”
According to Hilton, the cost of acquiring the unit will be about
$300,000. Roz Lane, chair of the Foundation board, said that members
of the Board have already made personal commitments of more than
$100,000 to the campaign.
The mobile mammography van will provide screening mammograms to
women who may not have access to centralized screening or who may
be unaware of the life-saving benefits of early screening mammograms.
Other contributing factors include age, infirmity and economic circumstances.
The mobile unit will regularly visit locations throughout the service
area to make access more convenient. It will also deliver the service
directly to the sites of area manufacturers and other businesses.
The mobile mammography proposal was developed by Judy Quan, R.N.,
coordinator of education at HRMC who is also a certified cancer
“This opportunity is so exciting and will be such a huge benefit
to local women,” Quan said. “Surviving breast cancer
can be a difficult struggle, but mobile mammography will help us
diagnose many cancers at a much earlier stage of development.”
When breast cancer is diagnosed at Stage 1, the five-year survival
rate is 88 percent. If it is at Stage 4 before detection, the five-year
survival rate is only 15 percent.
“This really is a life and death matter,” said Hilton.
“We are confident that everyone in Hunt County will want to
partner with us to make mobile mammography a reality.”
You can make your tax deductible contribution online.
Please specify "Help On Wheels" in the comment box.
Bras for the Cause a huge success!
October 16, 2012 - This
year's Bras for the Cause raised a whopping $62,535.00! And if you
purchased ballots to vote for your favorites, had a Bras for the
Cause fundraiser, or joined our generous sponsors - Thank You!
The funds raised will go to Janice's Closet, the wonderful program
created to provide supplies such as wigs, treatment gowns, bras
and prostheses, and compression garments for Cancer Center patients
who are not financially able to provide these supplies for themselves.
The program is governed by representatives from the Hunt Regional
Healthcare and the Bras for the Cause program.
All proceeds remain in Hunt County to benefit
breast cancer patients!
to our sponsors
Creek Tournament benefits Cancer Center
August 14, 2012 - Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation received
a gift of nearly $10,000 to fight cancer as the beneficiary of Oak
Creek Country Club’s 27th annual charity golf tournament.
Presenting the check to Foundation director Jack Gray, on the right,
is Betty Williams, whose late husband James was honored by the tournament
held in his memory.
Cindy Lowry, left, was secretary-treasurer for the event, and Jerry
Kirchman was the tournament director.
Foundation Memorial Fund honors Bob Aikin’s
July 6, 2012 - The late A.M. (Bob) Aikin III is being honored
by the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation with a memorial fund
recognizing his service as a member of the Foundation’s board
of trustees since 2007.
“Bob was a valuable board member and good friend,”
said Jack Gray, director of the Foundation. “He will be missed
by his board colleagues,” Gray said, “and I will personally
miss his sage advice and many suggestions that have contributed
to the Foundation’s success.”
Aikin served on the Foundation’s Philanthropy Committee
and was a co-chair in Commerce of fundraising efforts for the annual
gala, Laughter is the Best Medicine.
He was the son of the late A.M. Aikin, Jr. of Paris, the “Dean
of the Texas Senate” who served that body longer than any
other person. Aikin shared his father’s interest in politics
and public service. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives
in 1986 and was elected to the Texas State Board of Education in
1988. He served several years as director of legislative affairs
for Texas A&M University at Commerce, and at the time of his
death had worked several years as a consultant in the area of public
Aikin died unexpectedly on June 13 at his Commerce home. He is
survived by Debbie Aikin, his wife of 38 years, and his son and
his son and daughter-in-law Chris and Christine Aikin of Jersey
“We are so pleased that the Foundation is honoring Bobby,”
Debbie Aikin said. “He enjoyed his association with the hospital
Anyone interested in honoring Aikin may contact the Foundation
office at 903.408.1068 or send a check made payable to HRH Foundation
to the Foundation at P.O. Drawer 1059, Greenville, Texas 75403-1059.
Checks should note that the gift is earmarked for the Bob Aikin
Memorial Fund. Gifts also may be made securely online.
The family has requested that contributions to the memorial fund
be directed to provide enhancements for Hunt Regional Medical Center’s
new Cardiovascular Services Center currently under construction.
donors (left to right) Danny and Carolyn Keene, Shirley and Charles
Ranly, and Linda and Don Bolin were honored recently for their generous
gifts to the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation. Their gifts supported
HRH’s priority to provide care of the highest quality to the
people of Northeast Texas.
The Foundation’s new donor recognition wall (in the background)
was unveiled at the same event. The Keenes’ gift was a memorial
to Paul Harper, a longtime employee and close family friend who
passed away last year. The Ranlys, who own Webb Hill Country Club
in Wolfe City, paid tribute to past and present members of the club
with their gifts. The Bolin gift was a memorial to Mrs. Bolin’s
late father, Colonel W.O. Jack Sharpe, and Mr. Bolin’s mentor,
the late Edward D. “Ted” Jones, founder of Edward Jones.
‘Bras for the Cause’
More breast cancer survivors are benefiting from the over-the-top
success of ‘Bras for the Cause’
Dirickson was the first. There have been many since. And untold
numbers will benefit in the future. They’re the motivation
behind Bras for the Cause: an earnest wish that no Hunt County woman
experiencing breast cancer will ever feel incomplete or afraid to
go into public for lack of a breast prosthesis or wig.
The third annual Bras for the Cause fundraiser in October —
national Breast Cancer Awareness Month — generated more than
$40,000 to provide breast prostheses, mastectomy garments, wigs,
treatment gowns, and other necessary supplies for women who may
have been struggling to provide these items for themselves. In just
three years, Bras for the Cause hasgenerated more than $65,000 in
donations from Hunt County-area residents to help women undergoing
breast cancer treatment.
The event is the brainchild of Janeen Cunningham, owner of Greenville’s
Calico Cat and active community volunteer. She and a few friends
put together the first event in 2009 in just a few short weeks.
Despite little lead time, the first fundraiser netted more than
“I believe that it is both the responsibility and the privilege
of every resident to make her hometown a better place to live, work,
and raise a family and to provide a better life for people in need,”
Janeen says. “And I know that these kinds of efforts are best
undertaken in the company of like-minded people who can bring passion
and purpose to a project.”
Janeen says that a host of area women have been instrumental in
the program’s success. Co-chairs for the 2011 event were Vanessa
Lassiter Pope and Lana Barker Dollgener.
Janeen prides herself on “stealing” ideas from her
travels and then introducing them to folks in Hunt County. “When
I heard about an exhibit of decorated bras at a charitable fundraiser,”
she says, “I knew it would be perfect for Greenville and Hunt
In addition to serving as a fundraiser, Bras for the Cause has played
an important role in increasing awareness of the plight of breast
One of the keys to attracting interest and community participation
has been an annual competition among thematic, decorated bras designed
by area women, groups and businesses.
They range from the sublime to the silly, but each one makes a statement
about the importance of breast health and care.
More than 60 bras were entered in the initial competition displayed
at Greenville’s Uptown Mall, and more than 160 competed in
the 2011 event just weeks ago. The bras are a key to the fundraising
as votes cast by people attending the event come with a price tag.
Because of the unexpected success of the original event, the group
of volunteers felt they had a special event that folks really embraced.
The group believed that $10,000 was within reach in 2010. Needless
to say, they were ecstatic when local residents and businesses contributed
more than $25,000!
“I can only say that we are so lucky to live in a community
of men and women with such big hearts, and with such a wonderful
sense of humor,” Janeen says.
Following the 2010 success, Bras for the Cause leaders approached
the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation. They invited the Foundation
to become a partner to invest and manage the charitable funds and
administer the program that provides supplies to breast cancer patients.
The number of volunteers has grown exponentially, and specialization
of responsibilities has emerged. Today there are subcommittees to
handle publicity, bra wrangling, bra display, event logistics, and
sponsorships, to name just a few.
One of the needs brought on as the program evolved was for a place
to do fittings for mastectomy products. That resulted in Janice’s
Closet, a fitting room constructed on the second floor of Hunt Regional
Medical Center near the Medical Pavilion entrance.
The space was named for Janice Weldon, publicity chairman, who was
tragically killed in an automobile accident shortly after the 2010
The facility is open by appointment, and two Hunt Regional Medical
Center employees have been professionally trained as fitters.
“We are really proud of the amazing success that ingenuity
and hard work has produced for Bras for the Cause,” said Richard
Carter, CEO of Hunt Regional Healthcare. “And we’re
equally proud to have become their partner in meeting the post-treatment
needs of women touched by breast cancer.”
HMHD Foundation presents gifts to Hunt Regional
December 7, 2009 - The Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation for
Good Health dedicated two gifts to Hunt Regional Medical Center
on Sunday afternoon (December 6, 2009) including the Monsignor John
V. McCallum Quiet Place, and a Yamaha Disklavier baby grand piano
for the Atrium.
Quiet Place, honoring the late monsignor who pastored at St. Mary
Catholic Church in Greenville for a number of years, was a result
of gifts from Mr. and Mrs. James Coe and The Cullen Family Foundation
represented by Barbara and Brian Cullen. Delivering the blessing
of the Quiet Place was Father Paul Weinberger, current pastor of
St. Mary, who is pictured at right with the Coes and the Cullens.
The piano was a gift from Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Hilton Jr. in honor
of his mother, Mary Ann Hilton. It was dedicated during a recital
in the Atrium by Mitzi Parker, representing HRH employees, Maggie
Morrison, representing the Foundation, and
Dr. Ted Hansen. Hansen, renowned pianist at Texas A&M University-Commerce,
presented a premiere performance of his commissioned original composition,
“Time Passes By.”
Mr. and Mrs. James Coe (left), Barbara and Brian
Cullen (center), and
Mr. and Mrs.W.D. Hilton, Jr. (right), benefactors for two gifts
dedicated at Hunt Regional Medical Center in Greenville
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