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LARRY HOCKMAN: Donors give Phoebe Foundation a successful year

GUEST COMMENTARY: Donations to the foundation were up 6 percent in 2013

Larry Hockman

Larry Hockman

Now that the holiday season has ended and we have embarked on a new year, it is a great time to look back at what an amazing experience 2013 was for Phoebe Foundation and for the patients and families of Southwest Georgia who rely on the generosity of its donors.

The region may be pulling out of economic downturn, but it is clear to us that individuals remain dedicated to helping their family, friends, and neighbors who benefit from the added services provided through their donations. Giving to Phoebe Foundation was up 6 percent from the previous fiscal year.

Excitement over giving was most evident in our last two fundraisers of 2013, which benefitted pediatric services and cancer services at Phoebe Putney. Both held during the busy holiday season, Jingle Bell Jog and Lights of Love had record years, making holiday season giving to the Foundation up 9 percent from the same time last year.

Last year saw another dynamic show of support from local businesses that have made the good health of the people they serve paramount in their missions. Phoebe Foundation is proud to partner with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Pellicano Construction, USaveIt Pharmacy, and SafeAire Heating & Cooling as exclusive sponsors of all fundraising events held throughout the year. This Phoebe Foundation Network allows dollars raised during events to go directly where they are intended — to services that benefit patients. We hope you will join us in thanking these business leaders when you have the opportunity and let them know you appreciate their pledge to help make Southwest Georgia a healthier place for all of us.

But perhaps nothing is more testament than the giving of Phoebe employees, who last year made up more than 35 percent of donations, $350,000 and counting. When asked why they give to Phoebe Foundation, one employee replied, “I see the good work being done through the Foundation, the added level of care people are receiving because donations help purchase equipment and make doing our jobs easier and more efficient. I want to be a part of that.”

Phoebe Foundation was established in 1989 to act as the custodian of charitable gifts to the hospital. Still today, our voluntary board of directors drawn from a cross section of the community takes responsibility in being good stewards of all donations — big and small. Our donors have helped fund programs and projects across all service areas of the hospital, such as Willson Hospice House, pediatric physical therapy equipment, cardiac education, and an oncology assistance program that provides relief from pain and nausea to those who do not have the access to such relief, to name only a few. The lives touched — and saved — by these donations are just too numerous to list; the impact, immeasurable.

Today, this continuing tradition of support by donors and volunteers has allowed Phoebe to become one of the South’s most progressive and recognized hospitals, and provides citizens of our region with the reassurance of knowing that some of the most advanced medical care available anywhere can be found right here in South Georgia.

On behalf of Phoebe Foundation and the thousands of individuals whose lives have been changed because of our selfless donors, I offer heartfelt thanks.

Larry Hockman, chairman of the Phoebe Foundation Board of Directors, the former owner of Mazur and Hockman Inc., a peanut brokerage in Southwest Georgia. He has served on the boards of The American Cancer Society, Thronateeska Heritage Foundation, Dougherty County Kiwanis Club and United Way. A graduate of the University of Richmond, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.