Letters to the Editor

Foundation supports hospital for 25 years

Whidbey General Hospital Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary in May. Twenty-five years of  support has been received from the community, helping to bring healthcare to all island residents. A 15-year effort by the Whidbey General Hospital Auxiliary got the hospital built, but the spark that flamed the passion for the hospital foundation was ignited by the action of one man, Bernard “Bud” Waterman. It was his legacy that prompted the formation of the hospital foundation that continues today.

Bud, with his wife, Margaret, opened the Waterman Mill Co., Inc. in 1950. The mill successfully operated in Langley under the Waterman name for 40 years. Bud believedj, “If you live in a community, you have to support it to the extent that you can.” These were not just words, but a commitment that Mr. and Mrs. Waterman guaranteed by setting up, in trust, the Waterman Medical Foundation. This is what seeded the hospital’s foundation. This legacy gift, which continues today, has generously granted over $674,000 since Bud Waterman’s death in 1981.

Over the years, the support for the hospital foundation has been fueled by the many community leaders who have stepped up to volunteer as directors and those who have led the WGHF as president. Foundation presidents have included Joanne Demille, Dave Haworth, Frank Jacobson, Harland Kinzley, Barbara Koetje, Charrison Lockaby, Anne Pringle, Spence Purvis, Donald Sorenson, Dr. Art Strandberg, Betsy Summers, and Bob Wolfe. These are but a few of the community leaders who have worked to develop resources through a variety of fundraising efforts. They have also effectively managed the distribution of funds to the hospital and other healthcare organizations in our community.

This year the board of directors, led by Amy Ayers, WGHF president, has an ambitious schedule of events and programs.  The year brings the fifth annual Tour de Whidbey, the third Spirit of the Northwest Art Show and the second PugetBrass concert. In the tradition of Bud and Margaret Waterman, we are spreading the word to encourage other island residents to look at what their legacy will be. Leaving a legacy does not take a fortune. Kenneth Brown demonstrated this in 2004 when he arranged to donate what was left in his estate to charities. Ken Brown never had a fortune. But he did have a desire to give back to the community. By leaving part of his estate to the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation, his desire materialized into a legacy for the future.

To find out more about the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation, and how you can volunteer, become a member, or leave a legacy for healthcare on the island, contact Executive Director Alex Louden. She can be reached at 360/678-7656 ext. 4020 or 360/321-7656 ext. 4020. You may also visit us on our website at www.whidbeygen.org.

By TRISH ROSE

Whidbey General Hospital

Community Events, April 2014

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