A twenty-five year love affair with St. Mary—still going strong
Len and Marilyn Franckowiak are loving and living retired life. They have lived in Bucks County long enough to witness St. Mary sprouting from a farm field and growing into a wonderful medical center. “It is comforting to know that our medical needs can be addressed within a short ride, and sophisticated emergency care is available at the end of an ambulance ride.”
“We, our children, and grandchildren have experienced very good care through the generations. There are so many reasons why we donate, encourage others to donate and volunteer our services.”
Marilyn was first encouraged to volunteer 25 years ago by Sr. Hildegarde Grogan, who, at the time was Vice-President of Patient Services. Sr. Hildegarde needed someone to sift through tons of data and prepare charts—and at that time, it was with a pencil, ruler, and graph paper! Soon Marilyn was named a community representative to Ethics Committee on which she served for 15 years. Sister Hildegarde was aware that Marilyn’s first career was in nursing, and she put her to work researching and writing the nursing standards for the new Cancer Center. When Sister left, Marilyn continued to work for the next five Vice Presidents.
For the past year, Marilyn has worked for the Trauma Prevention Coordinator. Another area of opportunity for her service was the Healing Environment program. Marilyn makes afghans and hats for cancer patients, has delivered them to and visited with patients, and even designed two items to aid patients during their healing. Marilyn absolutely cherishes every minute of her more than 6500 hours volunteering.
Len’s volunteer time has been spent working with the Foundation. He refers to his first day with the Foundation as an “Oops” beginning. Committees were being formed for the Capital Campaign of 2004, and Len was asked to attend a meeting to see if he might be interested in volunteering his time. Upon opening the meeting agenda, Len found that he had already been named to head one of the committees. And, so it began…
Since, his “Oops” day, Len has worked on the Capital Campaign of 2010, was Chairman of the first St. Mary Cyclefest (a motorcycle fundraiser), helped organize the Connector Project, and has been chairing the Foundation’s Ambassador Circle meetings for the past few years.
People often tell Len that they would rather not volunteer because they have difficulty asking others for money. That is understandable, but it doesn’t happen that way. As a volunteer most of your time isn’t spent asking people to donate, but rather, making people aware of important projects that have a great impact on the health of so many. Our community is blessed with many generous people and, in most cases, simply making people aware of the needs of St. Mary is enough for them to volunteer their support. The involvement of so many people is why St. Mary has become a wonderful medical center.
Len and Marilyn choose to financially support St. Mary and volunteer, because they feel it is the right thing to do. Financing new facilities gives them the comfort of knowing that it saves lives and promotes healing. Volunteering gives them the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful people who, otherwise, would have never entered their sphere of life.