Local jewelers honored as friends of the foundation at hospital gala


The Tenth Annual Laughter is the Best Medicine Comedy Gala, hosted by the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation, was held last Saturday night, February 28. A crowd of roughly 300 people packed the ballroom in the Sam Rayburn Student Center at Texas A&M Commerce-University to hear headlining humorist Rabbi Bob Alper and show their support for healthcare in Hunt County.

In addition to the highly applauded comedic entertainment, the evening’s paramount moment was the annual presentation of the Harold Curtis Friend of the Foundation Award to Jan and David Williams, owners of Taylor Bros. Jewelers in Greenville.

The award was presented by Leah Curtis, daughter of the late Harold Curtis, whospent more than 50 years serving as the hospital’s legal counsel and who devoted countless hours to helping create the foundation that would contribute to changing the lives of area patients and their families through access to better healthcare in their communities. Shortly after his death in 2006, an award was created to honor those who have followed his path by dedicating their time, talent and financial resources to meet the needs of others through the foundation.

“Jan and David Williams are true friends of the foundation,” said Alicia Wittkopf, executive director of the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation.

“Every year they are willing to support our efforts in whatever capacity necessary,” said Wittkopf.

In addition to their all-around annual support, Jan and David Williams have made it a tradition of selecting a piece of jewelry from their Greenville store to be raffled at the gala. This year, they donated a pair of 2.25-carat diamond earrings set in white gold, which were won by Cheryl McKenna. Fittingly, the Williams’s award was crafted in the shape of a diamond.

Past Curtis Award recipients include Zach Wilson, Wyman Williams, Nita “Tubby” Adkisson, Jack Finney, Scott Weaver, Cullen Family Foundation, Hospital Auxiliary Groups, Mary Rich Lynch, Ron and Julia Wensel, Janeen Cunningham, Don Bolin, Dr. and Mrs. James Sandin, Norma Mitchell and W.D. “Dee” Hilton, Jr.

Philanthropist and entrepreneur Jerry J. Ransom was the recipient of the Diamond Award, a new award given by the foundation in honor of philanthropic leadership.

“With the Diamond Award, we wanted to create a way to recognize individuals who have not only contributed many years of service to the foundation and the community through personal giving, but who have also inspired others to do the same,” said Wittkopf.

“Jerry J. Ransom is the embodiment of that description. His generosity encourages others to give of their time and energy and for that we are grateful,” she said.

Ransom’s partnership with the foundation has spanned seven years and has helped shaped the foundation into the organization it is today. Ransom has a long history of community service including serving on the Greenville City Council, GEUS and TMPA boards and as chairman of the utility study committee. He has been actively involved in fundraising projects for the Boy Scouts of America, Tools for School, Hunt Regional Healthcare and First Tee, which teaches life skills and leadership through the game of golf.

Organizations and individuals with ten years of gala sponsorship were also recognized during the evening. Those sponsors include: Alliance Bank; Complete Rx,; The Cullen Family Foundation; Curtis, Alexander, McCampbell & Morris, P.C.; Dr. and Mrs. James Sandin; First Southwest; Mrs. Norma W. Mitchell; Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Wensel; Mr. and Mrs. W.D. “Dee” Hilton, Jr.; Vanguard Resources.

For more information about the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation, click here or call 903-408-1068.

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