The UF Medical Guild Celebrates 60 Years of Friendship, Fun and Philanthropy

Published: November 21st, 2020

Category: FEATURE

Our 60th Anniversary Celebration was enjoyed by more than seventy-five Guild members and
their guests. The Fackler Terrace, overlooking the expanding medical campus and the Garden
of Hope, was beautifully decorated with turquoise and silver accents on the benches and
tabletops. Members moved around, greeting long-time friends and meeting new friends.




We were honored with the presence of some of the Guild’s early leaders who joined us for the evening. The weather was gorgeous with breezy gusts that caused the decorative flags to flap in the wind. An abundant array of interesting and delicious food was provided by Blue Water Bay. People lingered and relaxed and enjoyed each other.

We listened to inspiring comments regarding the Guild’s philanthropic support by UF Health
leadership, CEO Edward Jimenez and Interim Dean, Dr. Adrian Tyndall. Dr. David Nelson,
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, UF & President, UF Health, joined us, as well. We
were pleased these gentlemen stayed after their remarks to enjoy visiting with many people in


Christine Riggs summarized how the robust business of the Gift Stop today and it’s impact on the Guild’s revenue as the result of three factors:

  1. Strategic decisions made by the Gift Stop Board in 2013 to contract with Lori’s Gifts, Inc.,

  2. Medical Guild members who volunteer and have a passion for fundraising for the Guild, and

  3. UF Health’s provision of three, highly visible and newly designed Gift Stop locations in the last ten years.

In 2009, we had saved for several years, to accumulate $50,000 to commemorate our 50th Anniversary with a bench in the Garden of Hope. Since 2013, and due to our greatly improved profits from shop operations, we were able to provide the UF Foundation with a $250,000 gift to endow the Equal Access Clinic Network in May. This milestone gift commemorated our 60th Anniversary.

Lynn Newman, Chair of the 60th Anniversary Celebration Committee, thanked UF Health, the
University of Florida Foundation, (Margaret Friend and Travis Shepard), and the
60th  Anniversary Celebration committee – Sandy Berger, Mary Lou Eitzman, Marissa Fernan-
Taasan, Chris Riggs, and Kathryn Seagle. Lynn commented on the many opportunities the
Guild provides its members to further friendships and service. She reviewed the accumulation
of volunteer hours over 60 years that went into planning the rummage sales, the Antique Fairs,
Mini Medical School, Graduate Research Awards programs and our ongoing volunteering in the
Gift Stop.

We were honored by the attendance of two women who are Charter Members of the Guild,
Brenda Thomas and Mary Lou Eitzman. Mary Lou also served as president of the Guild in 1963.
Many past presidents were in attendance: Anne Shands (1971), Joyce Rhoton (1977), Barbara
Dockery (1981), Kate Wilkinson (1987), Kris Gallagher (1988), Kathy Mladinich (1994), Lynn
Newman (1995/96 & 2005/06), Sandy Berger (1997/98), Michelle Donnelly (1999/2000),
Christine Riggs (2003/04), Kathryn Seagle (2007/08), Lynda Bucciarelli (2013/14), and Linda
Allegra (2015/16).