The Greatest Gift
For 20 years, private pilot Herb Sawtell’s plane was chartered to transport donated toys to the children at the Springfield Shriners Hospital. Herb’s wife, Pat, who worked as a secretary for an insurance company run by Shriners on the Board of Governors at the hospital, witnessed her employers’ selfless dedication in raising money to buy a van to transport patients from New York to their appointments at the Springfield hospital.
Inspired by the generosity they witnessed during their careers and the amazing care provided, Herb and Pat also wanted to do something to support the hospital’s mission. When they retired, they visited and toured the facility to see how they could help. While there, Herb encountered a young boy in a wheelchair with a severe leg deformity. The compassion Herb felt for the boy and his family was soon eclipsed by confidence that the patient would one day be able to walk thanks to the fantastic care he saw provided throughout the hospital.
To date, the Sawtells have financially supported the campaign that brought EOS to the hospital, the first ultra-low-dose X-ray imaging system in western Massachusetts, and continue to make high-impact donations that bring health and happiness to many children – and that is the greatest gift of all.
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