Local jewelers sponsor diamond raffle for a "chance" at better healthcare

1/30/2014

Super Bowl Sunday brings to mind family cookouts, afternoon parties with friends and food-covered tables. But for Jan and David Williams, the day of the 1996 Super Bowl was anything but fun. On that day 18 years ago, Jan received the call letting her know that she had breast cancer.

Flash forward 18 years, where the Williamses are now pillars of the Greenville community and it isn’t difficult to see why the couple has become a respected, dynamic force behind multiple philanthropic groups in Hunt County. Owners of Taylor Brothers Jewelers in Greenville, the Williamses have offered their support once again to the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation through their sponsorship of the Ninth Annual Laughter is the Best Medicine Comedy Gala.

Through their generosity, the 2014 gala will host a raffle of a 3-carat diamond ring, valued at over $4000. While one lucky winner will go home with an exquisite piece of jewelry, it is the Williamses that feel they are the lucky ones.

“We grew up here. We love Greenville,” said Jan, as she began recalling the events of that Sunday afternoon almost two decades ago.

“Dr. Gray was my doctor and insisted that we take action immediately. He was of course in his office that Sunday, because that is a hometown doctor for you,” said Jan.
At that time, the Greenville hospital did not have a cancer center or treatment options for women diagnosed with breast cancer. As a result, Jan found herself traveling to Dallas to seek treatment.

“Women don’t have to do that anymore,” said Jan, noting that the support of women’s services are a large part of the reason why her family has chosen to support the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation.

In addition to the FitSTEPS for Life® program, proceeds from this year’s gala will benefit the Tubby Adkisson Mobile Mammography Coach. The mobile unit travels on location to local business and churches, bringing convenient, digital breast cancer screening to the women of Hunt County.

This year’s contribution marks the second year that the Williamses have made a jewelry donation. Last year’s donation of a 2-carat diamond dinner ring brought in over $5000 in one night. By selling tickets in advance, the Williamses—and the foundation—hope to surpass that amount.

As one of the area’s only certified gemologists, family and business-leader David has used his industry knowledge to not only grow Taylor Brothers Jewelers, but also to advocate for better health for Hunt County residents. A former member of the board of directors for the hospital district, David says his time on the board “long before the current advancements” offers him a different perspective on the inner workings of a healthcare facility. As someone who has understanding from both a board member and patient perspective, David says he thinks it is important for Greenville citizens to recognize the transformation of care in Hunt County and realize that it isn’t easy to take an organization from Point A to Point B.

“People don’t realize what a large part of our community the hospital truly is,” said David, who had his own experience at Hunt Regional Medical Center following a medical scare at Quick+Care that resulted in an emergency trip to the main facility.

“I cannot tell you how wonderful it was in be in such good care,” said Jan, remembering the incident, and her husband’s subsequent treatment.

“They saved his life,” she said.

It is with that spirit, that the Williamses hope to encourage their friends and Hunt County’s citizens to stand together for better healthcare at this year’s gala, where nationally renowned comedienne Jeanne Robertson will entertain gala guests. The event will be held March 29 at the Sam Rayburn Student Center in Commerce on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce.

The raffle of the diamond ring will be held the evening of the gala. Raffle tickets are priced at $10 each or six tickets for $50 and are available for purchase at Taylor Brothers Jewelers, from any HRHF board member or in the foundation office located on the first floor of Hunt Regional Medical Center. To learn more about the raffle, the gala or for sponsorship information, visit www.laughteristhebestmedicinegala.com.

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