Our “Shining Star” Makes Life Better for Topeka Community
Nominated by Marian Clinic and another Topeka organization, Betty Dunhaupt was one of five Topekans chosen to receive a Shining Star Award for volunteerism. More than 70 people were nominated for the awards which meant a $1,000 donation to the organization of each winner’s choice. Betty shared her prize between Marian Clinic and the Battered Women’s Task Force. The competition is jointly sponsored by the City of Topeka and Shawnee County with coordination by the Volunteer Center of Topeka.
In nominating Betty for the honor, Marian Clinic explained that she ” . . . assists with the work of offering health care to low-income uninsured residents of Shawnee County. She has been doing so since March, 1998. Her primary responsibility is with the Race Against Breast Cancer and the Free to Know Program which provide mammograms and screenings for cervical cancer. Each week Betty devotes several hours to phone calls that ensure women who need the tests are scheduled and several additional hours to the documentation that ensures Marian Clinic is properly reimbursed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for the service provided. In this way, she contributes to the physical health of the patients as well as the financial health of the Clinic.
“The impact of Betty’s efforts is felt first in the lives of women at risk and their families. The importance of testing and early detection is documented and well known, but for women in poverty, day-to-day survival needs can consume all of their attention. They, more than most, need encouragement, even urging, to take steps toward good self-care. In a friendly, but persistent way, Betty, keeps pushing. It is not an exaggeration to say that her efforts are life-changing. For every woman who avoids a health crisis, there is a circle of family and friends, neighbors and employers who also escape the difficulties and sorrow that serious illness can bring.
“Betty’s presence at Marian Clinic goes beyond her primary task. She is an excellent example of a balanced woman. Faithful, punctual and dedicated to her volunteer work, yet she never neglects her family. A quiet worker who is independent, she also knows when to ask for advice. Well educated, competent and capable, she is humble enough to help wherever she is needed. On many Fridays that means doing the laundry! She is willing and happy to provide relief at the reception desk, to search out elusive charts and to help patients fill out forms. With a good eye for detail, Betty never fails to see the whole picture. She is adept at making community connections to benefit the Clinic. She alerts staff members to opportunities for networking and fundraising, she helps identify and recruit others who can help. She even introduced Marian Clinic to the neighbor who became our much-needed handyman. In all her dealings, Betty is knowledgeable, comfortable and fun. Everyone feels at home with her.
“Betty’s one day a week service at Marian Clinic caps a long history of volunteerism in the Topeka community. Her leadership can be seen in the Norton Neighborhood Association, which she co-founded and co-chairs. Her civic interest can be seen in the activities of the Central Topeka Turnaround Team, her compassion and advocacy in work with the Battered Women’s Task Force. She is a longtime member of P.E.O. where she participates in work that benefits women in pursuit of educational goals. Whether she is planning a legislative day or an intergenerational dinner with the United Methodist Women, setting up a recycling center at Dillon’s, getting assistance for mentally handicapped neighbors, or ridding the community of a drug house, Betty Dunhaupt is a volunteer who proves that working together pays off. She understands the rights and responsibilities of good citizenship, as well as the heartfelt rewards of service.”
CELEBRATING THE HUMAN TOUCH AT MARIAN CLINIC
Two stories about people who took the time to listen, remember and attend to life’s details.
As a social worker at Marian Clinic, Cora Glisson hears many stories. One recent one compelled her to take quick action. Rebecca* had been released from a long stay in the hospital and confided to Cora the family’s financial situation. Her husband had lost his job and the only source of income was a disability check for an older daughter with cerebral palsy. Rebecca had already told her younger daughter, soon to be 13, that the family would not be able to afford a birthday celebration.
The thought of a little girl missing out on her special day was more than Cora could stand. She talked to a few staff members, called Marian Clinic Board member Rev. Lyle Seger and within a couple hours had the money she needed to go shopping. By late afternoon, she had delivered a beautiful cake, birthday candles, ice cream, art supplies and gift wrap to Rebecca so that she could surprise her daughter with a party. Most important to Cora and Lyle was that the parents be the heroes on their daughter‘s birthday.
* Rebecca is a fictitious name.
Party at the Park
A grassroots celebration of music at The Park Inn proved that Ray and Pam Lowder have good memories. It proved they keep their promises. The couple organized the event to benefit Marian Clinic because of the care they and their children received in the past. A self-employed carpenter for 30 years, Ray and his family lacked health insurance, but found the medical services they needed at the Clinic. They remember Sister Mary Rosaleen Driscoll with great fondness and were happy to present her with a generous check after Party at the Park was over.
“I always thought if I ever hit the lottery, the first check I would write would be to Marian Clinic,” Ray said. The Lowders didn’t win the lottery, but they did buy The Park Inn at Sixth and Garfield. There on May 4 and 5, with bands that donated their gigs, prizes, food and drink, the Lowders and their patrons had a good time for a good cause.
You don’t have to be royal to give a majestic gift. But faithfulness counts. With their regular donations, Good Samaritans give over $30,000 a year to help those who cannot afford health care on their own. An additional $30,000 is needed to sustain the work of Marian Clinic this year. Please become a faithful giver. Become a Good Samaritan. You can donate online or choose a more traditional method.
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