CHRISTUS Spohn Foundation 2019 Annual Report - Page 9

The Diana and Harry W. Hamilton Foundation Enjoys Close Ties to CHRISTUS Spohn Through Generations. Richard Thomas and his family have a long history in ranching and involvement with and support of CHRISTUS Spohn. His paternal grandfather, Dr. John R. Thomas, practiced at Spohn for many years even delivering several of the Thomas children at Spohn. After Richard’s father was killed in a car accident when Richard was only two years old, his mother, Diana Welder Thomas married Harry W. Hamilton. Harry committed to rearing all five of the Thomas children plus his and Diana’s youngest child, Jane. Mr. Hamilton also died in a car accident, which led Diana Hamilton and the siblings to create the Harry W. Hamilton Foundation to honor his memory and the selfless love Hamilton gave to his new family. Diana Hamilton, was one of three daughters of Helen Power Welder and Robert Welder, owner of the Welder Ranch in Sinton, Texas. Mrs. Hamilton was able to fund the creation of the Harry W. Hamilton Foundation from ranching income. Fortunately for Spohn the family also has a strong Catholic faith and desire for good healthcare for South Texas. The family’s support of CHRISTUS Spohn goes back farther than the Foundation’s records. The Robert Welder Chapel located in the Dr. Spohn Building was funded by Rob’s second wife, Bessie Welder after his passing. This lovely chapel served our patients, associates and the public for many years. Richard says his family was grateful and proud that his grandfather was honored in that way. Many of the artifacts from the Welder chapel have been incorporated into the new chapel in the North Tower. When Mrs. Hamilton died, the children renamed the foundation The Diana and Harry W. Hamilton Foundation. It was Mrs. Hamilton who had a heart for philanthropy and helping others. Her children have followed her philanthropic beliefs and added volunteering for the health system also. Di Thomas Morrison, served on the Foundation Board almost from its beginning, including as secretary for several years. Richard credits Di for getting their Foundation closely affiliated with Spohn because of her passion for the health system’s mission to care for all in the community. Richard followed Di, and has served for seven years on the Foundation Board and is currently serving his second year as Treasurer. The Diana and Harry W. Hamilton Foundation meets annually for the siblings to review grant proposals and decide which charities to support. They have helped fund projects from the Cancer Center Renewal, the Neuro-interventional Hybrid Suite, Nursing Excellence Fund, Trauma, the Residency programs and the recent Capital Campaign for the new tower. Karen Bonner also notes: “Additionally, any time we seem to need emergency funding or there is an unexpected need in the community, Richard is usually the first to call with a personal gift and a suggested plan about how the Foundation can meet that need.” After more than 40 years of giving through the Foundation the siblings: Richard Thomas, Di Morrison, Hughes Thomas, Jeanne Talley and Jane McKee are looking to the next generation for their season of serving in the Foundation in the hope the family will continue to be an instrumental force for good in South Texas, finding ways to fill needs and elevate the community. Richard added, “We all have ties to CHRISTUS Spohn, so my hope would be that the people coming up behind us will continue this long association with CHRISTUS Spohn and continue our legacy here.” 9