Numerous ‘diamonds’ will help at RAM event

Published 11:00 am Thursday, June 21, 2018

To the Editor:

I hope that this letter gets in the paper before June 23; but, if it doesn’t, the message is still the same! A couple of months back, I heard a sermon at Mount Calvary Baptist Church called “Acres of Diamonds.” I am still moved and inspired by the sermon I heard from Deacon Ed Connor. Ed reminded me (1) with the right motivations, a small church can turn into a college, a hospital and one of the largest churches in the world; and (2) everything we need is right here, acres of diamonds, in our own backyard. I remember the tears falling from my eyes thinking “Southside is definitely a field filled with diamonds” and this RAM experience has proven that statement true!

As you are aware, June 23 and 24 is our free Remote Area Medical (RAM) experience, and Sparkey Hearing Foundation is donating our hearing aids. Well, this morning I spoke to a “diamond and audiologist,” Cheryl Wray, who said Sparkey donates top-of-the-line behind-the-ear hearing aids retail at about $6-8K a pair. What? Really? Are you saying that not only will our clinic receive talented, skillful dentists, doctors, specialists, nurses and general volunteers donating their time and talent, but also good products, too?

Affordable Dentures has given us a significant discount and our very own Southern Virginia Regional hospital and Physician Network filled our closets with drapes and coverings for our patients. We had over 50 organizations donating to this Southside community affair and every donation helps and adds to what may be offered, this year and next. Diamonds all around!

My name is often mentioned when it comes to RAM, but the truth is I did not conceive of RAM alone nor did I do this alone. Southside, say thank you to the following host coordinators who represent almost every county in Southside: Sharon Adams, Jean Blackburn, Deborah Burkett, Linda Burnett, Takisha Carr, Polly Cole, Glenda Creath, Noreago Drumgoole-Robinson, James Givens, Bill Herrington, John Holtkamp, Al Reavis, Dr. Evan Sisson, Claressa Strawn, Dr. Michelle White-Hurst Cook and Wendy Wright all made this possible in 2017. We have added a few more carats to our jewelry box, Carter Anderson, Mary Bailey, Phyllis and Bain Cameron, Southside Dental Associates and Bobby Wrenn. True gems!

As I said earlier, many organizations donated. So, donors, please come for a tour on Saturday, June 23, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and see your investment in action.

If this letter isn’t issued until after the RAM, please forgive me for not asking sooner. I want to give a special “love-hug” to Greensville County School System; you really went outside the box and helped us tremendously! Another “love-hug” goes to Greensville Memorial Foundation. And Atlantic Coast Pipeline, without you, we would have been financially short.

I pray that patients come, another box of diamonds because we will have over 600 volunteers excited about helping our community.

Thank you all, Southside. Acres of diamonds!

Winning as one.

Elise M. Brown
Volunteer coordinator serving Southside Virginia