clear
Friday May 22nd, 2015 4:42PM

The Medical Center Foundation dedicates Nell's Prayer Garden

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - The Medical Center Foundation Monday dedicated Nell's Prayer Garden at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) to honor the life of long time hospital volunteer and leader Nell Whelchel Wiegand, who passed away last year. Nell's daughters, Mary Beth Begley and Ginny Crumley, along with their families, attended the tribute to their mother.

Nell's Prayer Garden was made possible through donations to The Medical Center Foundation from more than 140 donors who helped create a lasting legacy in honor of Wiegand. The 2,200 square-foot garden surrounds the exterior of the Dawn McKibbon Memorial Chapel outside NGMC's North Patient Tower. The garden is complete with a stone privacy wall, a water feature and plantings of hydrangeas and a tea rose brought from Nell's home garden.

"It was Nell's dream to make the garden outside of the chapel come to life," said Foundation Chairman Jim Moore. "From her life experiences, Nell knew first-hand what the garden would mean to so many. Nell's Prayer Garden is no ordinary garden and appropriately serves as a spiritual place of reverence and solitude for patients, their families and staff."

Wiegand provided 60 years of service as a Medical Center Auxilian and served in almost every volunteer position within the hospital.

"Nell's passion and vision for helping those around her gave her a unique ability to understand the needs of patients, family members and staff," said Northeast Georgia Health System CEO Carol Burrell. "She was a woman of great faith and hospitality, and, as I look around this beautiful prayer garden, I know Nell would wish for those visiting to relax, reflect and take refuge in this wonderful setting outside of the clinical environment. "

Wiegand's service to, and love of, NGMC began before it even opened its doors in 1951. She first helped prepare the community for the new modern facility, then she went on to serve as a volunteer, president of The Medical Center Auxiliary, member of the Hospital Authority, and was the founding chair of The Medical Center Foundation in 1986. She served in that capacity until 2008, when she became chair emeritus.

"Nell was a friend to all," said Nancy Colston, executive director of The Medical Center Foundation. "The garden allows Nell's legacy of genuinely befriending and caring for others to live on. We are grateful to those who were influenced by Nell so much that they chose to be a part of creating Nell's Prayer Garden."

According to Colston, a lead signature gift was committed by a partnership of The Medical Center Auxiliary, The Medical Center Foundation and NGMC. Fifteen major gifts were given by Joanne & W.A. Bagwell; Steve & Carol Burrell; Mrs. Ralph W. Cleveland and Mr. and Mrs. John R. Cleveland; John & Lydia Ferguson; The Fockele Garden Company; the late Lillian Fraser; Dallas & Bobbie Gay; Dr. Clifton & Donna Hastings; Phyllis & Dick Leet; Hart & Jeff Payne; Richard & Lona Pope; the Starlet R. Jones Foundation; Bob & Wanda Swoszowski; James A. Walters; and Philip & Mary Hart Wilheit, Sr. More than 120 additional donations were given by auxilians, physicians, employees, close friends and family.

"I've already witnessed people strolling through the garden or sitting beside the bubbling fountain," said Colston. "It's become a popular place to visit, and we couldn't be happier."

To learn more about signature gift naming opportunities or The Medical Center Foundation, call 770-219-8099 or visit www.TheMedicalCenterFoundation.org.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Fiscal cliff may determine gas prices at start of 2013
Retail gas prices climb as 2012 comes to end. While gas prices are likely to rise into next year, whether or not a deal is made to avoid the fiscal cliff will determine if prices continue on an upward trend.
6:18AM ( 2 years ago )
Business News
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
UNG plans to occupy top floor of Cumming City Hall
Due to program and enrollment growth at its Cumming Campus, the University of North Georgia plans to lease the top floor of the Cumming City Hall for its Master of Business Administration and continuing education and professional development programs, that according to Associate Vice President of University Relations Kate Maine.
By Submitted
6:16PM ( 22 hours ago )
Flowery Branch moves forward with downtown redevelopment
The Flowery Branch City Council has given approval to start the pre-design work on a redesign of the city's downtown area.
7:38PM ( 2 days ago )
Hall Co. fire services promotes first female Chief Officer
Hall County Fire Services has promoted Captain Christie Grice to Battilion Chief of Business Services, the first promotion of a female to a Chief Officer position in the department's history.
6:24PM ( 2 days ago )
Hall Sheriff discusses law enforcement in South Hall, nation
With two-thirds of Hall County’s population living south of Oakwood (according to the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce) the South Hall Business Coalition wanted to hear from Sheriff Gerald Couch and tour the new Sheriff’s Office headquarters building that opened in their part of the county in November 2014.
11:44AM ( 3 days ago )
Greater Hall Chamber honors businesses, community leaders
The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce gathered Thursday celebrate the past year and to recognize some of the businesses and people who made it possible.
9:00PM ( 1 week ago )