New VGCC scholarship honors Maria Parham Guild Gift Gallery volunteers

A group of past and present volunteers gather in front of the Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham Medical Center to celebrate the creation of the new VGCC scholarship. Seated in the center are, from left, Gean Bobbitt and Ann Rose Allen, the current and former coordinators of the gift shop, respectively. Standing behind them in the center, Guild president Anne Bunch presents contributions to VGCC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Endowment Fund director Jo Anna Jones (in back) and VGCC President Dr. Stelfanie Williams. (VGCC Photo)

The volunteers who operate the Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham Medical Center recently endowed their fifth Vance-Granville Community College scholarship, and this one specifically honors the service of all those who have donated their time to work at the gift shop over the years. The new gift continues a tradition of the organization’s support for education. Since 2008, the Guild Gift Gallery has given over $125,000 to the VGCC Endowment Fund to create scholarships that help deserving students who will become the nurses and other health-care professionals of the future.

Something akin to a family reunion was held at the Guild Gift Gallery to formally present the contributions to the college. Current and former gift shop volunteers joined Gean Bobbitt, the longtime gift shop coordinator, and Ann Rose Allen, who organized and coordinated the original hospital gift shop in its former location. Anne Bunch of Henderson, the Guild president, said that the new scholarship will be called the “Guild Gift Gallery Volunteers Presidential Scholar Award” to recognize all those whose work generated the profits which today are used to fund the scholarships. Bunch noted that the scholarship symbolizes continuity.

“This is a lovely way to demonstrate how the people who worked at the gift shop in the past are joining those who serve in the present to benefit students, who represent the future,” Bunch said. “We think it’s fitting to thank and pay tribute to the former volunteers, who paved the way for the Guild Gift Gallery to be so successful today.” She noted that currently, the Guild Gift Gallery is staffed by a regular stable of 25 loyal volunteers, led by coordinator Gean Bobbitt. “They go above and beyond to provide a high level of service to patients and hospital visitors in a warm, friendly way, precisely because they are volunteers who love what they do,” Bunch said. “We feel that the gift shop is an integral part of the hospital and the community, particularly because all the money we generate stays right here in the community. We thank Duke LifePoint and Maria Parham for their continued support, as we provide service to our community and help educate local citizens who want to become health care professionals.”

The president of VGCC, Dr. Stelfanie Williams, thanked Bunch and the volunteers for their continued commitment, because their support will be meaningful to generations of students. Because the scholarship is endowed, it will be awarded in perpetuity. Such gifts have allowed the VGCC Endowment Fund and Scholarship Program to award more than 6,500 scholarships to students since 1982. Scholarships have been established by individuals, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff to assist deserving VGCC students. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund have often been used to honor or remember a person, group, business or industry with a lasting gift to education.