JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The Brooke Army Medical Center Auxiliary held its annual welfare recognition ceremony May 13 in the San Antonio Military Medical Center auditorium.

"The welfare committee is responsible for issuing grants that support the BAMC mission," said Anne Feldman, BAMC Auxiliary president. "This is no small task given the amount of requests this committee receives."

This year, the welfare committee approved grants totaling $37,000 to help support 38 BAMC departments. The grants provide funding for a variety of items throughout several departments within BAMC as well as the Fisher House and the Warrior and Family Support Center.

"This is my favorite day of the year," Feldman said. "It's neat to see what all you are using in the clinics to help your patients and how you are supporting each other and coming together."

The requests varied from the purchase of patient educational materials to more unique items such as anatomical models, clothing and a portable shower room sound system for burn patients, TV/DVD players and a gift basket for BAMC's first baby of the New Year.

"A lot of what all of us do is education, and a lot of the materials we need we cannot obtain through the normal channels, so this is a tremendous help," said Debbie Bray, pulmonary clinical nurse specialist. "I'm just so appreciative."

The staff from 5 East requested and received Comfort Cubs, which are stuffed bears that weigh about 7 pounds. The bears will be presented to parents who have suffered the loss of a newborn to help with their grieving process.

"The recovery time for women who have something tangible to hold is shorter and the journey is not as difficult," said Barbara Johnson, bereavement nurse. "We are always looking for new ideas on how to help these parents [who suffer a loss of a child]."

The funds to support the welfare grants comes from the sales of popcorn by the BAMC Kernel Club.

The auxiliary also presented a check in the amount of $56,000 to Inge Godfrey, BAMC Fisher House manager. The funds were raised from the annual Fisher House Charity Golf Tournament held on April 11 at the Dominion Golf Club.

"We at the BAMC Auxiliary extend a special thank you to those who provide world-class care to service members, retirees and their families," Feldman said.

"Remarkable things are happening in military medicine and the Brooke Army Medical Center and the BAMC Auxiliary stands in awe of what you do and we are humbled to have the opportunity to support your efforts."