Hospital reunion planned for September 23

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Front to back, left side: Lee Scruggs, Alma Lewis and Fran O’Brien. Right side: Detra Ridgeway, Debby Holliday and Phyllis Hunter. Back: Barbara Walker and Sadie Fraley. (Not pictured: Sadie Fraley, Dina Schoolcraft and Kim Estep)

After retiring from a long employment people always ask the retiree, “Do you miss it?” The answer is almost always, “Mostly I miss the people.”

In the years since Greenbrier Valley Hospital opened its doors in 1974 many people have said this, and two of these retirees decided in February 2018 to do something about it. They called in two friends, the four got together over dinner, and the first Greenbrier Valley Hospital reunion was on! The initial four brought four more to the next meeting and later even more volunteered or were drafted. At the very beginning, Greenbrier Valley Medical Center’s current administration was contacted for permission to use the name and gave immediate support and offers to help. Interest quickly grew among former employees, and the committee found that many current long-term employees wanted to attend to see again the people they worked with; as a result, the focus expanded to include not only former but also long-term “tenured” employees.

One of the biggest problems was how to get in touch with people; no list exists of former employees with addresses or phone numbers. Committee members got busy on the phones and spreading the information by word of mouth. A Facebook page was started, which has now grown to over 400 members.

The committee for Greenbrier Valley Hospital former and long-term current employees is now wrapping up final plans for their event on Sept. 23. Over 120 former and current tenured employees have registered so far, with more registrations arriving every day. When the committee started looking for places to hold the event a small outdoor venue was planned, however, it soon became apparent that a larger place would be needed and the location changed to accommodate the bigger crowd. The inaugural reunion, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m., will be held at the WV Army National Guard Armory in Maxwelton, located on Industrial Drive by the Greenbrier Valley Airport. The facility is fully handicapped accessible and has good parking; anyone needing assistance is encouraged to contact a committee member for help at the event.

Committee members are planning table displays and videos of memorabilia and photos, as well as a memorial table to remember those who have passed. There will also be music, light refreshments, and a photo area where attendees can take selfies with their friends. On arrival, the committee asks everyone to make their first stop at the registration table to sign in, pick up a name badge and information, and check to see who else has arrived.

It is planned as an informal event, but pre-registration is strongly recommended so that the committee can plan for space and refreshments. Walk-ins will be accommodated. A registration fee to cover expenses is required and donations are also welcome. Any of the committee members will be happy to answer questions, directions, or to give out registration forms, or people can email a request to GVHalum@yahoo.com. Forms may also be picked up at GVMC in either the HR office in Annex 1 or the Marketing office in Annex 2, or by printing one from the group’s Facebook page (GVMC Former Employees Reunion Group).