Monday night, the annual Baptist Memorial Hospital – Union County Tree of Love Dedication Ceremony welcomed a variety of community members, volunteers, and friends honoring Mary Foley, RN, a hospital worker of 35 years.
Foley has worked at the hospital since she was 17 years old. At that time, she received a scholarship, with the agreement that she would work at the hospital for one year, a promise she has kept for many years.
She was honored in the Tree of Love Dedication Ceremony in the hospital’s dining room. Baptist Hospital Administrator James Huffman welcomed the audience to the ceremony as an antecedent to Chaplain Bobby Cossey leading the audience in a devotional. The entertainment was provided by the New Albany High School Ensemble, led by Mary Beth Muncie.
The dedication of the tree was done by Beth Basden, Auxiliary President. The Hospital Auxiliary puts on the ceremony every year, which gives the community the opportunity to purchase a light in honor of or in memory of someone.
Basden said, “We are happy to be honoring one of our own tonight. Words to describe Mary are encouraging, motivated, dedicated, and compassionate. One word you could never use to describe her is a quitter.”
She has taken care of patients from pediatrics to geriatrics and Basden said that she goes above and beyond with patient care with every patient she encounters.
Foley said, “Working for this hospital and being named the 2010 Tree of Love Honoree are two of the greatest privileges I have ever had. I look forward to going to work and helping people every day. This is such a family environment at this hospital – everyone helps during the good and the bad times and we are all here for each other as a family.”
“I respect all of the hard work from the hospital’s Auxiliary does and the Tree of Love gives the community an opportunity to honor someone. It is a way to let people know that they are in our hearts this holiday season.”
All of the lights on the Christmas tree at the front entrance of the hospital represent a person, either in honor of someone or in memory of someone.
“Every time I go past that tree, I think about and remember those who have passed on and the many people that are currently being honored. That tree allows us to let people know how much we love them. I am so thankful that God has given me the drive to work and the compassion to be a nurse,” said Foley.
The Auxiliary is a group of hospital volunteers, mainly women, that volunteer countless hours at the hospital performing a variety of tasks.
These volunteers run the gift shop and collect money from sales to go towards hospital projects, they help bring reading material and snacks to patients, and raise money for needy purchases like wheelchairs, rocking chairs, the hospital’s helipad, and more.