‘Twas the night before Christmas at Pender Memorial Hospital when volunteers from the Town of Burgaw and the Burgaw Area Chamber of Commerce showed up to say thank you to the staff who were caring for patients at work instead of nestled with their families at home.
Mayor Pete Cowan and his wife, Sue, along with Chamber Director Barry Klingel and his wife, Chamber Executive Director Donna Best-Klingel, arrived at Pender Memorial at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve to deliver a little Christmas cheer to the hospital staff as well as law enforcement officers and emergency services personnel who were on-duty. They brought by delicious food provided by the Chamber and several area businesses. Burgaw Police Chief Bill King and his wife, Terri, who is the Outcomes Manager at PMH, were also on hand for the festivities and to say thank you to the Town and Chamber for their kindness.
Rev. Ray Mendenhall sang and played the guitar during the holiday reception, much to the enjoyment of the workers. Chef Gailyn Gagliardi of Café Liardi’s provided soup and fresh bread and Johnny Westbrook, owner of Burgaw Antiqueplace, provided fudge for the staff. The Chamber also brought deli trays, bread and fruit for the staff.
PMH Nursing Supervisor Peggy Dale helped them set up the reception in the front lobby, while PMH Dietary Manager George Chance made sure there were plenty of plates, napkins and utensils available so everyone could enjoy the goodies.
“This was such a wonderful idea from Mayor Cowan and we are so appreciative,” said Holly Horton, Human Resources Director for PMH. “This is the first time I can remember in all my years working here that they have done something like this for us and it was so thoughtful.”
During the Christmas season, Dell Laboratories graciously gave pedicure kits to all of the residents in the Skilled Nursing Facility and patients spending Christmas in the hospital. The pedicure kits were beautifully wrapped by volunteers at the Chamber before they were delivered.
Also, students from West Pender Middle School filled several boxes with gift items and personally delivered them to the skilled nursing residents to brighten their holidays.