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Record-breaking generosity
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On Thursday afternoon I let my fingers do the walking — but not through the Yellow Pages.  Instead I spent some time reading the “Guinness World Book of Records. 

I have to say that I’ve read a lot of unique literature in my lifetime, but never “Guinness. I flipped through some sections faster than others, as there were a lot of things reported that made me cringe.  There were fun and amusing records, too.  Like the fastest time to eat a 12 inch pizza is 1 minute, 45.37 seconds, set by Josh Anderson in 2008. Honestly, I thought I was a fast eater, but 1 minute 45? Come on!

Or how about this crazy record — the longest time to hold your breath underwater is 18 minutes, 32.59 seconds, achieved by Karoline Mariechen Meyer in 2009.  Does it make you wonder what motivated Karoline to even try? 

Oh, here’s another dandy — the largest mirrored disco ball measures 24 feet, 1.3 inches in diameter and was made in 2007 by Raf Frateur.  That size disco ball might even give the Bee Gees “Night Fever.” 

So are you wondering what sent this woman of many words to the “Guinness” book in the first place?  The answer may surprise you. It’s not pizza, underwater fetes or disco balls.  The answer is…the employees of Emanuel Medical Center.

On Thursday afternoon these men and women turned in Legacy Circle pledges totaling $101,216 — a record-breaking number of dollars raised in any week one of Emanuel’s annual six-week fund drive. So ask yourself this: Do you know other employees that pledge portions of their hard-earned wages to benefit your healthcare? 

Think about it.  Emanuel’s housekeepers, cooks, security guards, secretaries, computer techs, nurses, and even speech therapists are voluntarily giving of their weekly pay, in record-breaking numbers, during a poor economy, so that they can help build a cardiovascular services program for you and your family.  Now this is something to report in “Guinness,” don’t you agree?

Our community volunteers are fantastic, too.  As my dear friend Shirley often says, “These people are the busiest and the best.”  Their hard work at everything they do is what resulted in this group turning in $189,304 in pledges at Thursday night’s community volunteer report session.

Friends, I know that many of you reading this column know me, know that I work for Emanuel, and know many others that do, too.  Or, you’ve been a patient here, or a friend or family member has been.  And so today I’m going to be as courageous as the rest of our record-setting employees and be direct.  Will you please pledge to Legacy Circle of Emanuel and help us bring services, like open heart surgery, to Turlock? 

Remember, heart disease is the number one killer of men and women and so it is very likely that you or someone close to you will need these lifesaving services, especially if you eat too much pizza or hold your breath too long.  Instead, take out your disco ball and dance, dance, dance because soon, very soon, Turlock will have cardiovascular services thanks to the amazing Emanuel employees and to our generous community.  Pledge now by phoning Emanuel’s Office of Development at 664-5180 or call me at 664-5675.  We’ll make a date to meet for a quick bite of pizza.

Pennie Rorex is a member of and volunteer for Legacy Circle of Emanuel.