GMA employees donate holiday party money |

GMA employees donate holiday party money

After Hurricane Katrina, many of Glenwood Medical Associates’ employees donated their vacation paychecks to the American Red Cross to aid in relief efforts.

A few months later, when it was time to plan GMA’s annual holiday party, medical technologist Gary Pax suggested they cut party expenditures and donate the savings to Pearlington, Miss.

“Most people had already given,” Said Dr. Paul Salmen, “And they wanted to do it again.”

Tim Burns, GMA clinic administrator, solicited opinions from the staff who overwhlemingly voted to have a scaled-back version of their holiday party.

Instead of dinner, drinks, dancing, and entertainment, the 87-person planned an after-hours potluck in the lobby of GMA. The only snag was that they had already made reservations at the Hotel Colorado.

Choosing to honor their commitment to the hotel, they again revamped their plans and chose appetizers and drinks instead of a full meal which allowed them to donate more than $3,000 to Pearlington.

According to Burns, GMA gives more than $10,000 every year to local charities and recently GMA physicians, who own the clinic, pledged $34,000 to Valley View Hospital’s heart and vascular center.

“We work in a humanitarian field, this is a trademark of the people who have worked at GMA over the years,” Burns said.

What started as an idea for a small contribution, grew exponentially.

“This year they went beyond their own community,” Pax said. And when Pitkin County employees heard about GMA’s efforts, they did the same thing.

“It really spread to a lot of people,” Pax said. “This really pulled people’s hearts together.”

For the staff, the effort was simply an extension of what they do every day – taking care of those in need.

“This is what what we do,” Carla Boverie said. “It’s a very giving group.”

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