The Donor Difference
Our donors make a daily difference in the lives of our patients, their families, our physicians, staff, volunteers and essentially everyone who is served by an Aultman care facility across our five-county service area. Every dollar, in-kind donation and planned gift makes a difference for our nonprofit health care system and for the patients we’re privileged to serve.
Thank you for your generous support. With enthusiasm generated by our contributors, we thank – with deep gratitude – our 2015 donors.
Dr. William and Candy Wallace
William (Bill) and Candy Wallace are fixtures in the Canton community, involved in everything from United Way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival to various Aultman Health Foundation boards and committees. They have donated countless hours of time and considerable dollars, but they seek no recognition for their contributions. They just want to make a difference.
Bill and Candy met at Kenyon College, married after graduation and then went to graduate school at Case Western Reserve University to study medicine and nursing, respectively. “I wanted to live in the mountains, and Candy wanted to live on the sea shore,” Bill recalled. “Once we had our first child, we determined it was best to stay close to my family in Cleveland and Candy’s family in Medina.” Bill accepted a radiology position at Aultman Hospital, and Candy quickly became introduced to the Women’s Board. “When Bill got hired at Aultman, one of the doctor’s wives in the radiology practice suggested I join the Women’s Board,” Candy said. “I thought it would be a good way to meet people and make new friends.” Candy has been an active Women’s Board member ever since. She chaired the 1990 Angel Auction committee, served as Women’s Board vice president from 1999-2001 and board president from 2001-2003. She was instrumental in conceptualizing the Aultman Compassionate Care Center, Stark County’s first inpatient hospice center, and bringing it to fruition.
“My dad had four heart attacks and a terrible end-of-life experience. My mom planned what she wanted for her end-of-life care, and her time in a hospice facility wasn’t what I thought it would be,” Candy shared. “Mom loved nature, and she spent the last five days of her life looking at a paved parking lot outside her hospice window.” That experience got Candy thinking about bringing end-of-life care in a homelike setting to Stark County. “We spent eight years researching and benchmarking. Once plans for the facility were announced, we were overwhelmed by the community support,” she said. “With the Compassionate Care Center, Aultman could truly offer ‘wrap-around care.’ You can give birth, get midlife treatment and endof-life care – all at one hospital.” Among their many contributions, Bill and Candy funded a playground on the Compassionate Care Center campus. “We have siblings in education, and they talked about a child’s need to play even in situations like going to visit a dying relative,” Candy explained. “We wanted to create a place where kids could play and be safe.”
While Candy concentrated on Women’s Board projects, Bill has served on the boards for Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Aultman Health Foundation and Aultman Hospital. “You learn pretty quickly that you like to serve and want to continue – or you just can’t afford the time,” Bill said. “I wanted to make sure I fulfilled my commitments as a board member while maintaining my focus on patient care.” Bill served on the original Aultman College board that launched in 2004. “I served as medical director for the radiography certificate program at Aultman Hospital before it became a degree-granting program of Aultman College,” he shared. “That’s why the college asked me to be on the board initially. I found it interesting and served on the board for 12 years.”
The Wallaces credit their community-minded parents with teaching them about volunteerism. “I grew up watching my parents serve the community,” Bill recalled. “They didn’t force me to do anything – but suggested things I should do or would like to do. Candy and I were a little more definitive on how we wanted our kids to contribute to the community.” Today, Bill and Candy have four children and seven grandchildren (with one on the way). They have set an amazing example for their family on the value of making a difference. “I worked for 10-12 years and then was able to dedicate my time to volunteering,” Candy offered. “The time I give to community organizations feels useful. I don’t earn money for the hours I devote to volunteerism, but I get paid emotionally.”
The Gregory family personifies community philanthropy. Aultman Hospital has been a grateful recipient of the family’s leadership and generosity for the past five decades. Their passion for our community and belief in giving back have blessed our patients, students, staff and volunteers for many years. Their generosity is seen throughout many of our facilities and programs such as The Compassionate Care Center inpatient hospice facility; the state-of-the-art Gregory Training Center on Aultman’s main campus; the Aultman College of Nursing Endowed Scholarship in memory of Ray’s sister Marjorie Phyllis Gregory, R.N.; the Annual Hospice Memory Tree; and more.
While their gifts are appreciated and have made a powerful impact on those we are privileged to serve, what makes the Gregory family special is that their service does not begin and end with charitable contributions. They give first of their time and talents. A Gregory family member has served on one of Aultman’s boards almost continuously for the past 50 years.Mr. T. Raymond Gregory served as a member of the Aultman Health Foundation board of directors for more than 20 years and was chairman of the board from 1978- 1980. Raymond’s late wife, Mrs. Virginia (Gina) Smyth Gregory, was a founding member of the Women’s Board of Aultman Hospital. T. Stephen Gregory, Raymond’s son, became a member of the Aultman Health Foundation board of directors in 1999. Following in his father’s footsteps, Steve served as board chairman from 2011-2013 and continues to serve on the board today. Lisa Warburton-Gregory, Steve’s wife, joined The Women’s Board of Aultman Hospital in 2002, where she served as the president from 2010-2012. Lisa chaired Aultman’s premier fundraiser, the Angel Auction, in 2008 and also served on The Aultman Foundation board from 2009-2012.
Their support of time and treasure has made a real difference in the lives of many individuals and families, and their generosity will continue to have a positive impact for years to come. We appreciate their commitment and value their friendship.
Todd Sommer met Jo-Ann Ballanco in college in 1974. It didn’t take long for Todd, and everyone in their lives, to know he’d marry Jo-Ann. Todd and Jo-Ann had two daughters, whom Jo-Ann stayed at home to raise while Todd pursued an engineering career. After the family settled in Dalton, Ohio, Jo-Ann was extremely involved in the community. She taught Sunday school, sang in the choir and served on many committees at St. Agnes Church in Orrville. She served on the Dalton school board, was a room mother and organized a private committee that raised $1.25 million for a Dalton High School auditorium.
Although Jo-Ann was physically active and health conscious, she was diagnosed with lung cancer in late 2010. Jo-Ann and her care team, led by Dr. James Schmotzer, fought the disease aggressively. Todd and Jo-Ann evaluated their bucket list, accelerating the schedule so they could do as much as possible together. Jo-Ann went on the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer with her daughters to help raise money for the Stefanie Spielman Foundation. Todd and Jo-Ann saw Ohio State play in the Sugar Bowl, caught some shows in Las Vegas and took several road trips in their RV.
In early March 2011, Jo-Ann began experiencing pain in her right lung. Testing revealed blood clots and, from that point, they knew it was a losing battle. The Aultman care team helped Todd arrange for a bed, oxygen, respiratory and IV treatments, and the other things he needed to care for her at home. Todd arranged for the whole family to be together for Easter. Jo-Ann held private conversations with everyone – which she really cherished – and passed away peacefully a few days later.
Todd maintained a CaringBridge website to keep family and friends informed throughout Jo-Ann’s battle. He ended his last entry with a hymn refrain that he prayed for Jo-Ann many times. “May the choir of angels come to greet you; may they speed you to paradise. May the Lord enfold you with His mercy; may you find everlasting life.”
Todd reached out to Lisa Zellers, development officer at The Aultman Foundation, in July 2014. Through his involvement on the Aultman Health Foundation board of directors, he learned about the upcoming cancer center renovations and wanted to be involved. He remembered how spread out various departments were, how some areas were getting pretty dingy and he envisioned how these changes would really benefit future patients. “The treatment she received was great, and the caregivers were all wonderful,” Todd said. “But it was evident that things could be improved for patients and their families.”
Todd wanted to establish a tribute fund in Jo-Ann’s name to benefit the cancer center renovations. “Having an up-to-date facility will also help to attract the best physicians,” Todd explained. “These changes will impact cancer care in our community for years to come.” Jo-Ann always thought of others first, even throughout her battle with cancer. “I think the Jo-Ann Ballanco-Sommer Tribute Fund is a way that, through her death, she can continue to help others – and we will be there right beside her,” Todd said. “Our family is excited to be a part of it, and we know that countless people will be helped as a result. She was such a compassionate person; she was loved at some level by so many people. I know the Aultman Cancer Center will touch thousands in the same way. They will be uplifted, strengthened, given hope. Some will be healed but, in all cases, they will receive truly compassionate care.”
Carrie and Doug Sibila
The seed for a planned gift can be planted in childhood. Carrie and Doug Sibila recently made a planned gift to Aultman Hospital. But the idea of philanthropy and giving was part of their families growing up in Stark County.
“I have been inspired by my parents, especially my father, who has always given his time,” Carrie explained. “He and my grandfather were both active on the Aultman Board. One of the reasons I moved back to Canton as a young woman was the easy ability to serve as a community volunteer and to follow their example.”
Doug agreed. “Giving back and community involvement was instilled in me at a young age through my parents’ example and so many other volunteers-it is what we do in Stark County.”
Carrie and Doug gave the gift to a cause they are both passionate about. “We decided to give this gift to the Aultman Cancer Center, knowing how cancer has affected our own family and virtually everyone in our community,” the couple said. “We trust Aultman with our gift to create a high quality, state-of-the-art medical facility for all those affected.”
The Sibilas made a plan that will allow them to continue their charitable giving beyond their own lifetimes. “An estate plan gives us the security that when we pass on that we can leave something in the future to help all those impacted by cancer.”
After a discussion with their financial planner, a life insurance policy was the best fit for their personal financial goals. The policy was gifted to Aultman Hospital, which is both the owner and beneficiary. The Sibilas will pay the premiums, which will be charitable gifts to the hospital. Doug stated, “A life insurance planned gift is a great way to leverage a small yearly amount into a more significant gift.”
The Sibilas hope their gift will inspire others. “We hope by this token we can encourage others to give of their time or treasure.”
“The Aultman family is so grateful to the Sibilas for their generosity of time, talent and treasure,” said Tracy Schlemmer, Associate Vice President, The Aultman Foundation. “They are wonderful role models for philanthropy and making a difference in the lives that follow.”
Tanya Burleson and the Team from Farmer's Insurance
Tanya Burleson will tell you that hair loss is one of the hardest parts of going through chemotherapy.
After a biopsy revealed that Tanya had aggressive stage 1 HER2, estrogen-positive cancer she knew that there would be a long road to recovery. Working with Dr. Trehan, her oncologist, Tanya chose an aggressive treatment plan which caused her hair to fall out.
Thankful for her early detection and successful treatments, Tanya wanted to be able to give back to other patients in need. She began by donating wigs to Aultman Hospital featuring long-hair styles that would appeal to younger women battling cancer.
Though providing wigs was a step in the right direction, ideally Tanya wanted to prevent others from going through a similar struggle with hair loss. In speaking with Dr. Trehan, Tanya came across the idea of providing cold caps for Aultman patients.
Around this same time, Tanya’s district office at Farmers Insurance was preparing to host their annual golf outing. As the honoree for this year’s event, Tanya remained committed to her desire to help other local cancer patients. She worked closely with Dr. Trehan, Traci Hocking and the team at The Aultman Foundation to determine how the funds raised through this event could be used to help.
Through the generosity of the Tanya, her District Manager, Tim Willoughby and her team at Farmers Insurance, and the dedication of Dr. Trehan, Traci Hocking and The Aultman Foundation team, the event was a huge success. The proceeds from the golf outing totaled $5,378 and those funds will be used to help others dealing with and healing from the effects of chemotherapy.