The Westerly Sun

Greetings from the Front Porch dear friends and kind readers, and welcome to our Labor Day visit here on the Front Porch where we’re feeling sentimental. Yes, we feel that way every year at this time, but this year, especially, as we process the sad news of the passing of a friend, a fighter and a kind, kind, woman — the amazing Aimee Reed. Aimee, who was the recipient of the 2016 Relay for Life of Greater Westerly Courage Award, and was named the Westerly/Pawcatuck Breast Cancer Awareness Honoree by the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, was a triathlete with an abundance of courage and positivity, who, as her obituary said; “passed away after a valiant 3½ year battle with breast cancer.” I had the privilege of interviewing Aimee several times over the years, and I was always impressed with her upbeat attitude. She never once lost her fighting spirit or her determination. We send love and condolences to Aimee’s family, her friends, who were many — and to all of you who have lost someone and all who may be mourning on this Labor Day.

My RN pals Tricia “Trixie” McNeill Barber and Jackie Desmond, sent me word that the United Nurses and Allied Professionals, Local 5075, of The Westerly Hospital awarded a number of scholarships recently. Wonderful Jackie, who serves as president of the union, announced the awards recently at an awards ceremony. The two longtime nurses (and pillars of the community) were so excited about the awards and the ceremony, and gave such a wonderful report that I will quote from it here. First up was Abigail Gencarelli, who is a legacy award recipient, and whose mom, Danielle Balbat, won a scholarship from the union last year. The scholarship committee was particularly impressed with the quote Abigail included on her application, Trixie said. “If your dreams don't scare you, they are not big enough,” wrote Abby, who will start classes this week at URI where she plans to study animal science and technology. 

Gabriella Celico, the next recipient, who is “smart and athletic,” Trixie said, and whose two brothers have won scholarships in previous years, was awarded the Jan Salsich Scholarship, a scholarship awarded to an applicant the committee “feels is a strong, independent person.” Gabriella is also off to URI this week. Her mom, Erin is a long time RN at The Westerly Hospital.   

Westerly Hospital Public Safety Officer Glen Riffe, a student at Goodwin College in East Hartford where he is finishing his pre-requisites in nursing, was awarded the Nancy Megrew Memorial Scholarship. Nancy was a forever nurse on medical/surgical floor who “treated her patients with respect and comfort, as Glen does too,” said Trixie and Jackie who were super impressed when Glen’s entire department attended the awards ceremony!

Ashley Marland, a clinical lab tech who is continuing her education at The University of Cincinnati for Medical Lab Science Ashley was also given a scholarship. “She was so humbled when she was notified she won an award,” said Trixie. “How lucky is The Westerly Hospital to have Ashley!”

Last but certainly not least, Morgan Miguel, who works at The Westerly Hospital in registration and attends CCRI to become a radiography technician, was also awarded a scholarship. Morgan, a single mom, wants to show her son that “nothing is impossible.”

Happy September, and ciao bella!


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