YouthWorks in Action

As the months grow colder, the hearts of those serving in the valley continue to spread warmth. YouthWorks at Memorial remains one of the core organizations of youth led service in the valley. One of the projects that the council members take on every year is a canned food drive. This year, members delivered boxes to various businesses and the donations collected were enough to fully supply the Cottage in the Meadow and the remaining donations were given to Northwest Harvest. Council members have also committed to helping with Children’s Village 17th annual Holiday Festival, as well as being an on call snow shoveling service for those in the valley with that need.


Honor Stoneman
YouthWorks PR Director

Angels at Cottage in the Meadow

 “People are like stained glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

We have a celebrity angel among us.  Her name is Tinker and she can be found at Cottage in the Meadow Hospice Care Center.  Tinker breezes in to the Cottage a few times each week to keep her fingers limber playing the piano and singing.  Her husband received hospice care before he passed away, and Tinker says she felt so blessed by that experience, that playing music for the residents at the Cottage is her way to give back.IMG 0990 224x300 Angels at Cottage in the Meadow

To tell Tinker’s story, we need to step back to another time….another era.  It was 1944, and 18 year old Tinker sang as part of a quartet at the University of North Texas.  The satin smooth harmonies of the four vocalists soon won them a contest called “College Capers” that was sponsored by Interstate Theatres, which entitled the quartet to do a weekly radio show in Dallas, as well as a nine-week USO tour.  Then the group got their big break in 1945 when a Billboard reporter heard the “Swingtet” as the girls called themselves, and he sent a record to Vaughn Monroe, who at that time was the leader of one of the most successful big bands in the nation.  He promptly hired the girls, and in keeping with Monroe’s theme song “Racing with the Moon,” he changed their name to the “Moonmaids.”

Tinker sang with Vaughn Monroe until 1950, performing often at the Commodore Hotel in New York City.  The band journeyed every day to different cities up and down the East Coast to perform.  Tinker made 78 records with Vaughn, and was even in the movie “Carnegie Hall” in 1947 after only six months with the band.

“I have led a charmed life,” says Tinker.  “I have had a wonderful time doing what I loved to do and getting paid for it!”  In 1950, Tinker left the band to go back to college but met her husband, a Dr. Pepper executive, instead.  They were married in 1951 and have two daughters.

After her husband passed away, Tinker moved to Yakima in 2009 to be near her children.  And it seems that her life has come full circle.  Sitting with her in the Cottage in the Meadow family room, Tinker shares her scrap books and photographs from the big band era, recalling in great detail her “charmed life,” humming tunes when she talks about a particular song title.  Then, she makes her way to the piano to play and sing those songs, and her music floats through the air to soothe others who are at a distinct point in their life’s journey.  And one has to wonder if they think, “I hear an angel among us.”

True beauty is revealed.

Leslie Whiteside, Grants Coordinator


IMG 0999 e1418053482531 300x224 Angels at Cottage in the MeadowIMG 1018 224x300 Angels at Cottage in the Meadow

IMG 1006 300x224 Angels at Cottage in the Meadow

The Golden Shovel of Healthcare 

shovel 200x300  The Golden Shovel of Healthcare  Memorial’s talks with Virginia Mason Health System have created quite a buzz and since then I have been reflecting on Memorial’s evolution.  One man started it all in 1944.  Ed Mueller and friends George Martin, Donald Keith, James Bronson, and Ernest Kershaw rolled up their sleeves and recruited 11 more community leaders and planned a hospital.  The community supported this with enthusiasm and monetary donations.  Just 3 years later, Supreme Court Chief Justice William O. Douglas, a Yakima native, dedicated the new Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital site with the now-famous “golden shovel”.  William Yeaman & Co. built the building, and the Yeaman Trust continues to support our programs to this day through an endowment set up way back when.  Community-minded at every turn, the hospital was staffed those first few years with more volunteers than paid staff.

We have grown and Yakima is truly the better for it.  We know that Virginia Mason has very similar benchmarks, professionalism, and a philosophy of having a healthy community. I think our founders would approve and encourage our current leaders in exploring this avenue of making Memorial even stronger for our community’s current and future needs.

With your gifts we were able to…

The Memorial Family of Services relies on community support for many of its programs. Anne Caffery, president of The Memorial Foundation, appeared on KIT 1280 on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, to thank the Yakima community for its generous support and to highlight the Foundation’s philanthropic accomplishments and highlights in the past year and the year ahead.

In 2014, generous contributions to the Foundation enabled Memorial to:

  • Expand the Diabetes Initiative with diabetes prevention and diabetes education classes, offered both in English and Spanish.
  • Buy a new incubator for the NICU
  • Serve hundreds of families through our Transitions Program, offering palliative care for anyone with a life-limiting illness, and through our Hospice programs, including Cottage in the Meadow hospice home.
  • Continue to provide critical care for children with special needs at Children’s Village.

Last year, we took guidance from our Community Health Initiative – and from past patterns of requests – to determine areas of greatest need in our community. We are focusing our efforts on four major initiatives going forward.

The following shows the total dollar figure awarded by the Foundation for 2015 in each of those four major initiatives and a couple of highlights for each:

  • Improving Children’s Health – $716,873
    • Continued support for critical Children’s Village programs
    • Creation of a Pediatrics simulation lab and training center
  • Advancing Cancer Care – $242,400
    • North Star Lodge services, including support and education programs, pharmacy, dietary, rehabilitation services
    • Mammography scholarships for women in need
    • Creation of a survivorship program
  • Supporting End of Life – $233,000
    • Continued support for Cottage in the Meadow hospice home and the Transitions palliative care program, which we intend to grow in the future
    • Improved efforts for Hispanic/Latino outreach
  • Healthy Yakima – $769,538
    • Support for Alzheimer’s and dementia conference to better educate our community about this disease – both physicians and caregivers – and to provide vital support
    • Continued support of our ACT! program to address childhood obesity
  • General, Fundraising, Grants – $238,324

TOTAL = $2,200,135 – Total money allocated by The Memorial Foundation for 2015.

Thank you, Yakima!


The Memorial Foundation devotes 89% of donations directly to health programs.

The Attorney General’s Office Charitable Solicitations Program newest report states that The Memorial Foundation devotes 89% of donations directly to health programs.   Another confirmation and reassurance that our community’s charitable dollars stay local and support community healthcare programs, patients, and families.

Locally invested – here to stay

In light of the news about Memorial Hospital’s potential affiliation with Virginia Mason Health System, we want to assure our community of generous donors that The Memorial Foundation will remain a separate 501(c)(3).   If an affiliation should occur, all gifts through the Foundation will stay locally invested, managed, and allocated in support of Memorial Family of Services programs here in our Valley to meet our community’s health care needs.

What A Difference A Chair Makes.

Our hospital staff spends every working moment with one goal:  to make our patients comfortable.  After spending many hours at the bedside of a loved one in the hospital, several families have sent donations to the Foundation, specifically to place some comfortable lounging chairs for families.  Cottage in the Meadow has a similar need, and two donor-provided reclining chairs have already been placed in the building.  Our furniture supplier brought a van of samples recently for a preview.  The choice is not as easy as one would think.  Although all samples are rated for health care, there are size and function options to consider.  All in all, it looks like we will soon welcome the delivery of several recliners which are easily moved around to fit most needs.  The recliners fold flat for comfortable napping, too. Patients and their advocates will all rest easier, thanks to our generous community.

Hospice makes wedding dream come true.

In hospice, we talk about living our best lives.  What does “living your best life” look like to you? For Cottage in the Meadow patient Edith, it was being around to watch her grandson get married.

Grandson Tom was planning to marry Anna (not their real names) in the near future. When Edith was admitted to the Cottage in the Meadow, they moved up their wedding date and decided to surprise Edith by moving the whole wedding to the Cottage.

The ceremony was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, but then Edith took a turn for the worse and her pain became nearly unbearable. By Friday it looked as if Edith wouldn’t survive to Saturday afternoon.

The marriage license was dated for Saturday so the wedding couldn’t legally take place until then.

The pastor scheduled to officiate the wedding couldn’t come any sooner and the couple needed someone fast. That’s when a hospice chaplain was invited to participate.  The chaplain met with Tom and Anna and a simple ceremony was planned to take place in Edith’s room at the Cottage. Tom really wanted his grandmother to be a witness to the wedding and to sign the marriage license.

So, in the middle of the night…literally, at 12:00 midnight, the wedding party gathered in Edith’s room. Vows were exchanged, rings were placed, prayers were shared, tears were shed, and the pronouncement of “husband and wife” was made.

And Edith witnessed every moment.

At the end of the ceremony, Edith put on her reading glasses and, with shaking hands, signed the marriage license.

At that point, the Cottage staff could focus on making sure she wasn’t in any pain (for it had been excruciating), and the family could focus on sharing stories and loving on Edith until the moment that she let go and breathed her last.

While there were lots of tears, Edith got her wish – she was able to watch her grandson get married.

Hospice care and services at Cottage in the Meadow aren’t just about life’s end…it’s about really living, just like Edith. Reaps Rewards

When our community gives the gift of health, everyone benefits.  Our very special thanks to these generous groups and businesses who conducted October fundraising campaigns to help with breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship programs,  all available in Yakima at ‘Ohana Mammography Center and North Star Lodge Cancer Care Center.  Unfunded mammograms is just one example of need. The Memorial Foundation commits $15,000 each year, ensuring early detection opportunities and peace of mind for hundreds of women and their families.  Won’t you give the gift of health and make your donation today?  KEEP SUPPORT LOCAL – GIVE NOW.  The life you save could be someone you know!

Thank you:

  • Advanced Life Systems, Inc.
  • Coffee Trio Bowling League of Sunnyside
  • East Valley Central Middle School Students
  • Frito Lay Employees
  • Glaciers Frozen Yogurt
  • Robert Habich, Saftetyshirtz, and Tony Smith
  • Owens Cycle, Inc.
  • Stewart Subaru
  • Sun-Comm 911 Operators
  • Valley Imaging
  • Wine Divas LLC
  • Yakima Herald-Republic
  • Zillah High School ASB


He’s Come A Long Way

After four years in various therapy services at Children’s Village, it was time for Ramon to take the next step in his development and at that same time the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program made its debut at the Village, the first of its kind in Eastern Washington.

The program is now approaching its first graduation and Ramon and his family are a part of this extraordinary class. For six months, Ramon and his family participated in intensive in-home therapy. Between parent trainings and countless hours of work, Lead Behavior Analyst Kamilia Calderon says, “Ramon is like a completely different kid.”

In March, Ramon had absolutely no communication skills, other than hitting his head on hard surfaces and pointing, and he had various behavior problems.

Now just 6 months later Ramon is an entirely different kid. He can now speak and communicate his frustrations and is learning and writing words. He has come a long way!