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As Long as We Remember...

May 14, 2009

The FMH Good Samaritan of the Year

Michael Kurtianyk

Last Friday, my wife and I had the good fortune to attend Frederick Memorial Hospital’s Good Samaritan of the Year affair at The Lynfield Events Complex. We were worried that we’d get more rain, but I had my own contingency plan. For the last two weeks, I’d been building an ark in the back yard. Fortunately, the rains hadn’t arrived, or I’d have taken the boat off its mooring.


Back to the dinner – excellently catered by Ceresville Mansion – the event was well attended. Past winners of the award were there, as were current members of the Order of the Good Samaritan and their guests. It was a veritable Who’s Who of local activists, supporters of the hospital and other local organizations, and honorable Frederick citizens.


The Order of the Good Samaritan was established in 1989. It is meant to give special recognition to individuals who generously support Frederick Memorial Hospital through charitable contributions. This group of leaders continues the tradition of healthcare excellence by providing funds for the latest medical technology and healthcare services. Invitations to join the Order of the Good Samaritan are extended to those individuals who accept the challenge to support and maintain Frederick Memorial Hospital through a pledge of $10,000 or more over a 10-year period.


Especially in today’s economy, it is very important for our local hospital to maintain its high level of quality care. The hospital has two sources of revenue: from the patients that use hospital services and from charitable, tax-deductible donations.


Unlike many charities, the hospital received virtually no financial support from the city, county, state or federal governments. Since the formation of the Development Council in 1989, nearly $45 million in charitable support has been contributed from individuals, businesses and foundations. All charitable gifts contributed to this institution, unless specifically restricted by the donor, are deposited in a special development fund account that is used solely for capital expansion, renovation and equipment needs at FMH. No monies contributed into this fund are used to pay operating expenses or salaries.


Since 1902, Frederick Memorial Hospital has undertaken numerous expansion programs, each more generously supported by the people of Frederick County than the last. Today, it serves thousands of patients each year with facilities, technologies and programs that have expanded to meet the needs of a growing community.


As a not-for-profit healthcare system, Frederick Memorial depends on philanthropy. Within the hospital, there is a group known as the Special Gifts Committee. It is an arm of the hospital’s Development Council, and this group established additional giving levels within the Order of the Good Samaritan. These levels include: The President’s Circle – $100,000; Benefactor – $75,000; Patron – $50,000; Fellow – $25,000; and Member – $10,000.


The Order of the Good Samaritan is different from the 1902 Club, which many have probably heard about. It is an association of individuals also interested in Frederick Memorial Hospital.


Members of the 1902 Club contribute to help provide state-of-the-art equipment for the hospital. They also concentrate their efforts on providing the means to help the hospital to obtain new services and expansion. Members contribute $100 or more annually. They have three levels of giving: Gold – $500; Silver – $250; and Bronze – $100.


The winner of this year’s Good Samaritan Award was J.R. Ramsburg, Jr., known by many in our community as an honorable citizen and true leader in our community. He is well deserving of this award. Mr. Ramsburg has had a great deal to do with making Goodwill Industries and ARC of Frederick County what they are today. Many know him through his efforts with the Great Frederick Fair and Frederick Jaycees.


Frederick countians should be very proud indeed to have someone like Mr. Ramsburg in their midst. He deserves special thanks for all he has done, not only for Frederick Memorial Hospital, but also for our community.


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