February 19, 2014

“We are very thankful to have you at the heart of this community” – Heart of the Community Awards 2014

Posted in 50 Joy Drive, Awards, Capital Campaign, Donor Spotlight, Events, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , at 1:07 pm by Lund

It was a cold and snowy night on Thursday February 13, but nothing was to deter  over 200 guests at the Heart of the Community Awards 2014 from celebrating the marvelous achievements  and enduring community impact of The Hoehl Family Foundation, Gene Richards and Dr. Carol Lee Phillips.   It was an evening to celebrate the varied and long standing impact that these three honorees have had on Lund and the wider Burlington community.   The air was one of gratitude to the Hoehls, Gene and Dr. Phillips for what they have done but also gratitude for the important, life saving work that Lund does in the community.

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The Heart of the Community 2014 Award Winners – Gene Richards, John Hoehl and Dr. Carol Lee Phillips

The Honorable James H. Douglas presented the award to The Hoehl Family Foundation.  “The Hoehl Family Foundation is improving the lives of Vermonters each and every day and people of this great state are in your debt,” said Douglas.  The Hoehl Family Foundation made a leadership gift to Lund’s 50 Joy Drive Capital Campaign and members of the family have also served on the board and helped with fundraising events.   The foundation also supports numerous other non-profit organizations and educational institutions around Burlington.   John Hoehl, son of founders Bob and Cynthia Hoehl, received the award on behalf of the foundation.  “It’s really us that should thank you guys,” he said, of Lund, “because you make our work more rewarding.  We get to see what my parents set up in action making such a huge difference for the community and for the women that really really need it.”

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John and Martha Hoehl

Mayor Miro Weinberger took to the stage to present the award to Gene Richards.  “It is a great honor to be here tonight to speak about my friend and colleague Gene Richards,” he said.  “Gene is the most positive person any of us know, he cares about everyone and he cares about everything.  We are all very thankful to have you at the heart of this community.”  Gene served as a board member at Lund and as a volunteer, contributed his expertise and energy in many capacities – from organizing fundraising events to helping transform Lund’s Glen Road residential building.  He has been an outstanding leader in many ways at Lund and at so many other local non-profit organizations.   Upon receiving the award, he told a story about a woman that he met at Lund. “She got pregnant and her foster family kicked her out after she had already been kicked out by her own family.  ‘Today I have a job,’ she told me, ‘I have a daughter, we live at Lund and I am going to college.  But the best part about it is that Lund has given me and my family the skills to be a real family.’  It’s just amazing, these people were able to get through this.  They conquered it with all the difficulties of life.    This is what makes Burlington and the state of Vermont so very special.”

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Gene Richards with Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger

Dr. Ann Guillot, Chair of the Pediatric Residency Program and a pediatric nephrologist  at FAHC presented the award to Dr. Carol Lee Phillips who was the pediatrician at Lund for over 20 years and the first female Chair of Pediatrics.  She was joined by a number of her colleagues who referred to themselves as ‘Lee Phillips’ followers’ or the ‘Pediatric Travel Club’. “Lee is at the grassroots of what pediatricians can do in this community,” said Dr. Guillot.  “She has taught hundreds of residents and students how to be a pediatrician and how to be a good person. She quietly did what needed to be done at Lund.  She is devoted to the needs of families and the notion of what it takes for a woman to succeed. She is a quietly bold and brilliant community pediatrician, teacher, wife and mother.”  It turns out that this glowing praise was not enough and actually what was really needed to reinforce how wonderful Dr. Lee Phillips actually is, was a song.  Being no stranger to singing, Dr. Lewis First led the Pediatric Travel Club in a rousing version of “My Favorite Things” from ‘The Sound of Music’ because, as he pointed out, “You are certainly one of our favorite things.  You are our favorite, Lee.”   When Dr. Phillips received her award, the few words she spoke were mostly of appreciation for Lund. “I look at what Lund does and the amazing variety of things they do to help children and families flourish and I am in awe.  This is an amazing organization led  by a wonderful director assisted by caring, hardworking people.”

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Dr. Carol Lee Phillips with Lund’s Executive Director Barbara Rachelson

Lund could not be the organization that it is today without the assistance, love and dedication of The Hoehl Family Foundation, Gene Richards and Dr. Carol Lee Phillips.  Thank you to our wonderful honorees for all they have done.

Thank you to everyone who came to this event and to our sponsors – Main Street Landing, Spruce Mortgage, Wyatt Investment Research, PC Construction, Peoples’ United Bank, LORD Corporation, The Pediatric Travel Club, Hickok and Boardman, Fletcher Allen, UVM College of Medicine, Gravel and Shea, Merrill Lynch, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Liquid Studio, St Michael’s College, and Mirabelle’s.   The funds raised from this event will benefit the programs at Lund and the 50 Joy Drive Capital Campaign.

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