Reflections on National Philanthropy Day-2015

An Opportunity to say “Thank You”

 

On Thursday, Nov. 12, on the occasion of our Community Foundation for San Benito County sponsored National Philanthropy Day, and whose venue was San Juan Oaks, I sat at the head of a beautifully appointed table.

It was positioned in a panoramic way as to allow me to view my lovely Women’s Club of Hollister attendees, who are so much a part of my extended family. I use the word panoramic, reflecting upon the word “panorama" and learning that it is a photograph – especially one that is unrolled gradually in front of the spectator.

And, gradually the unrolling occurred . . .

To my direct right, was my husband, Murray, without whom I wouldn’t have been able to contribute to the Women’s Club, at any significant level.  He was the extra shoulder when mine was dislocated and had to be replaced at Stanford.  He was my right leg when the surgery and subsequent healing process, left me with the inability to walk steadily. Murray, co-creator of so many projects – “load the car…unload the car …set-up…take down.”  “No, Joan, the Flamingo egg needs another coat of paint!” Murray, who knows so many of our members by their first names and their cell numbers . . .

The chair at the head of the table would have been empty if it had not been for Dr. Daniel Wang who two-and-a-half weeks before was watching the pulse rate: “47-45-40-35-30 . . .” Enter, the front door of Hazel Hawkins Hospital, ICU, the temporary pace maker without a significant amount of anesthetic – too dangerous! 10:30 p.m. – looking over the sheets, watching Dr. Wang’s face, listening to Roger Hewes, from Respiratory Therapy describing what he was doing…looking for Murray, seeing Heather Shepherd my ICU Nurse (who provided that Oh! so important continuity of care, by extending her 12-hour shift) . . . Hearing that I was to be air flighted to Stanford. “No! Dr. Wang won’t be there.” “Father Heibar won’t be there.”   “My friends won’t be there.”  Then, hearing Dr. Wang say to Dr. Moheyuddin “Joan’s staying here.”…Hearing the Nurses discuss putting a special sling on my right arm so there can’t be the slightest movement. …Hearing my husband say, after the sling moved and showed a number that was cause for considerable concern:  “I’ll sit next to Joan and hold her arm”. And, so he did…Throughout the night, and until all was in readiness for surgery the following day.

The panorama – the ultimate setting – the ultimate sense of being embraced by those I love so much: Cindy Biesemeyer, Martha Blaser, Glenda Goldstone, Kathy Kessler, Irene Hurtado, Laura Lee, Suzanne Stalder, Bonnie Wilkinson–watching their smiles-watching their eyes…

…Looking into the room and seeing this exquisite love affair being replicated in the world of dozens of non-profits.

The iconic photo appeared on the screen (thanks to Cindy Biesemeyer and Kathy Kessler) – I, as the mother Flamingo with Cindy’s granddaughter, Tyler, as my Baby. There was laughter throughout the room and at our table.  I laughed too.  Perhaps, no one saw my tears as I thanked God, my Physician, Dr. Wang, my surgeon, Dr. Moheyuddin, my pastor, Father Heibar, my husband, Murray, and each of the members of the Women’s Club of Hollister for allowing me to sit at the table that night . . .

Joan Sattler

I've lived in San Benito County since 1969, arriving as a young mother and graduate student. Working with the health and human services sectors, primarily in the capacity of development and public relations, has resulted in a deep appreciation the dedication and creativity of the wonderful people of Hollister.