Hospital Heroes: The Gift of Time

HEALTH | FITNESS
2017
May/June

Sometimes we pass heroes in our path not knowing their story and miss our chance to say Thank You. BSCENE would like to honor a few of these heroes who have given something priceless: The Gift of Time. Below, you will find six ladies’ stories as they share their love for volunteering in our area hospitals. This is our chance to say "thank you". Thank you to these volunteers, and many more, for opening your hearts and giving your time; a gift to be cherished for all the lives you have touched.

 

Vennie Lee Jackson, 98

Volunteer at East Texas Medical Center 

A little bit about Vennie Lee: Miss Vennie Lee was born on September 11, 1918, and is from a farm in Flint. She has three sisters and seven brothers. She first joined a church in the country when she was 7 and has been a member of College Hill Baptist Church since 1945. Miss Vennie Lee is proud to say that she voted for Franklin Roosevelt and still dreams of visiting Washington D.C. She states that she is healthy; only seeing the doctor twice a year. 

Vennie Lee’s career before becoming a volunteer: She holds a Master’s Degree from East Texas State University in Commerce and taught 5th grade English in Whitehouse. 

Volunteering by the numbers: Miss Vennie Lee has been volunteering in the hospital system since 1988!

Can you tell us about your days as a hospital volunteer? I have volunteered at ETMC for 29 years. After retiring from teaching, I took off one year and then knew I wanted to help the community…

How does volunteering differ from the days when you were a Candy Striper to volunteering today?  Children under the age of 12 were not allowed to visit patients. 

Why do you enjoy volunteering? I like having contact with people, being involved and making friends. 

Tips on living a long active life from Miss Vennie herself: She still tends to her own business, she keeps busy both physically and mentally, she does a crossword puzzle every day, she walks two miles, four days a week, and she eats healthy: real food and she loves fresh garden vegetables!

 

Marie Griffith, 92

Volunteer at Longview Regional Medical Center

A little bit about Marie: Marie was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She met her husband during WWII when he was a soldier in the Navy stationed in Philadelphia. The Navy-Mother’s Club held a dance every Saturday night for young men and women in the Navy. Marie and her husband met at one of these dances and 30 days later got married. Sadly, Marie is widowed but says she has been very lucky in life. She has three children, ten grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

About Marie’s life before becoming a volunteer: Marie worked at a naval supply depot from 1941-42 in Philadelphia. Her late husband was from Tyler, and they moved back to Tyler; eventually owning a Dairy Queen in Gladewater.

Volunteering by the numbers: Marie has volunteered almost 17 years.  She has accumulated 7,100 hours and volunteers two days a week at the 709 Information Desk and the Senior Circle Center.

Why do you enjoy volunteering? When my husband passed away, I felt like I needed something to occupy my time. Volunteering has been such a pleasure. I have met some wonderful people, and some have become dear friends. I feel a sense of gratification that I have helped people when my shift is over and am thankful to the good Lord for giving me the opportunity to serve others.

Interesting tidbit: Marie exercises four days a week, including Tai Chi, at the Senior Circle Center.

 

Christine Martinez, 68

Previous Candy Striper and Volunteer at Christus Mother Frances Hospital 

Tell us a little about yourself: I was born in St. Louis, Missouri. We moved to Texas when my dad moved here to work in the office of The Cotton Belt Railroad, and we all became Texans!

Did you have a career before becoming a hospital volunteer? I worked in the Brookshire’s office for 40 years before retiring.

How long have you been a hospital volunteer? This go-round, for five years, and then on and off since 2007 (not counting my days as a Candy Striper).

Can you tell us about your days as a Candy Striper? I was (a Candy Striper) in high school and did it from 1964-1966. I thought back then that I wanted to be a nurse so I got into Candy Striping. We wore the red and white uniforms (my mother sewed my uniform), and we took snacks to the patients.

How does volunteering differ from the days when you were a Candy Striper to volunteering today?  Back then I was helping the actual patients. Now I work behind the scenes doing mail-outs and sewing puppets to give to the children who visit the hospital. 

As a hospital volunteer, what is your most memorable moment or story you can share with us? When I am at the hospital, and I see a child playing with one of the puppets that I made… it is something they can play with for hours, and it brings me joy knowing that I had a hand in it.  

Why do you enjoy volunteering? It keeps me busy and gives me something to look forward to. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? If you’re thinking about volunteering, just do it! You’ll love it!

 

Chesley Walters

Previous Candy Striper at East Texas Medical Center

Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in Tyler and am married to Ted Walters. We have three sons, three grandsons, and a granddaughter on the way.

Did you have a career before becoming a hospital volunteer? No, I was a Candy Striper in the summer as a teenager. I probably volunteered 3 to 4 years in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Students were not required to have volunteer credits then, but my mom made sure we stayed busy.  

Can you tell us about your days as a Candy Striper? ETMC was a small hospital. I can remember working in the ER with my friend, Stephanie Smyth, and having lots of fun. I am sure we got in trouble. I just don’t remember that part. I found the field of medicine interesting and was not grossed out by any of it. 

It was because Chesley followed her friend into candy striping that she eventually became an RN for about 25 years!

How does volunteering differ from the days when you were a Candy Striper to volunteering today?  There was not as many restrictions and regulations and volunteers were able to do more then.

As a hospital volunteer, what is your most memorable moment or story you can share with us? I was working on one of the patient care floors, sitting in the nursing station waiting for a job. Dr. Raymond Hedge came out of the elevator, saw me, and in his loud voice, got on to me about something his daughter and I had done the night before. I was so embarrassed!

Why do you enjoy volunteering? I feel I have been very fortunate in my life and enjoy giving back. 

 

Glynnda Rogers, 66

Previous Candy Striper and Volunteer at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler 

Tell us a little about yourself: I was born in Tyler and grew up in Ft. Worth. I live on my grandparents’ farm outside of Swinney Town. I will be 66 this month and can hardly believe I am now a senior!

Did you have a career before becoming a hospital volunteer? I have spent my life in the healthcare field. I volunteered as a candy striper and then as a ward clerk until I was old enough for them to pay me. I retired last year as a nursing
home administrator. 

How long have you been a hospital volunteer? My family volunteers at UTNE and I joined the ranks as soon as I could. My father is the ‘popcorn man’ and my mother volunteers at the Riter Center front desk.

Can you tell us about your days as a Candy Striper? I was a Candy Striper in 1966 for one summer and loved everything about the job. We pulled children in red wagons after their tonsillectomies. They gave us the Candy Striper uniform, but I wore a blouse and culottes to be able to play with the children. 

How does volunteering differ from the days when you were a Candy Striper to volunteering today?  I don’t think volunteering is different today; it is simply helping where you are needed. It is showing a lost person where their appointment is or holding a hand of a nervous patient.

As a hospital volunteer, what is your most memorable moment or story you can share with us? The best fun was pulling the kids in the wagons after their tonsillectomies. We would have two kids sucking on popsicles! We were babysitters. 

Why do you enjoy volunteering? Because it is fun! How many times do you get to give kids popsicles? And I get to make new friends.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? We have a nice gift shop. Come and visit because we have wonderful items such as clothing, candy, and decorations for your home. I do my Christmas shopping there!

 

Dottie Buie

Volunteer at East Texas Medical Center 

Tell us a little about yourself: I have lived in Tyler since 1962. I have one son, Dr. Kelly Mack, and daughter-in-law, Patti; and their two children, Adam and Sara. I have a step-daughter, Claudia, and her son, Cody, and his sweet son and daughter. 

Did you have a career before becoming a hospital volunteer? I was a RN in many areas but most of the time I was in the operating room. I was a supervisor in Austin and at ETMC. I also taught nursing the last ten years of my employment.

How long have you been a hospital volunteer? 1977-2017 (40 years!)

Why do you enjoy volunteering? I enjoy assisting all people in any way that I can; no matter the circumstances and I am a ‘people-person’!

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? Over the years, I have been in many civic organizations including Meals on Wheels for 42 years; I tutored elementary school students for 9 years, and have been involved with an Alzheimer’s Association. I am very, very active and am always in my church. In my spare time I make quilts, paint pictures, and enjoy cooking for neighbors. I play bridge at least two times each month. 

 

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"Andy Warhol: Screen Prints & Snapshots"

Oct 01 @ 01:00 pm | Tyler Museum of Art | Tyler, TX

~~One of the most highly anticipated exhibitions in recent years comes to the Tyler Museum of Art with “Andy Warhol: Screen Prints & Snapshots,” open to the public Sunday, Oct. 1 through Jan. 7, 2018 at the TMA, 1300 S. Mahon Ave. on the Tyler Junior College main campus.

The exhibition, organized by the TMA, features close to 40 works by the late Pop Art icon, including a series of Warhol’s signature silkscreen prints drawn from the Cochran Collection of LaGrange, Ga., and a collection of his celebrity-centric Polaroid photographs from the Meadows Museum of American Art at Centenary College of Louisiana.

“Screen Prints & Snapshots” showcases several distinct bodies of work from the later career of Warhol, notably the silkscreen prints from the 1986 “Cowboys and Indians” he completed shortly before his death, spotlighting such iconic subjects as John Wayne, Teddy Roosevelt and Geronimo; his 1981 Myths series, featuring touchstones of American pop culture including Mickey Mouse, Howdy Doody and Superman; and selections from his “Flash,” “Flowers” and “Television” series. Rounding out the exhibition are a selection of Polaroids and silver gelatin prints, shot from 1958 until Warhol’s 1987 death and offering insight into his intimate relationship with his celebrity friends – Dolly Parton, Jack Nicklaus and Pia Zadora among them.

General exhibition admission is $6 for adults and $4 for seniors. Admission is free for TMA members, students, children under 12, Tyler Junior College faculty/staff and City of Tyler employees. Regular Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday (closed Mondays and major holidays). For information, call (903) 595-1001 or visit http://www.tylermuseum.org

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