By Stephanie Bryant, Tripler Army Medical Center Public AffairsFebruary 10, 2012
HONOLULU -- Tripler Fisher House held a recognition ceremony and luncheon for its donors and contributors, Feb. 3, here.
A Fisher House is a comfort home for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and Veterans Affairs medical centers. They are given to the U.S. government as gifts and are built by the Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that builds the houses and assists in the coordination of private and public support for the homes.
Tripler Army Medical Center is home to two Fisher Houses and provides lodging to service members, retirees and their families from all over the Pacific Region.
"We want to say thank you," said Theresa Johnson, Tripler Fisher House manager. "We want to recognize (everyone) who does so much that enables us to be able to provide to these service members and their families at the level that we do."
Johnson said she printed off nearly 150 recognition certificates for the ceremony to recognize supporters from all over the island, both military and civilian organizations.
During the recognition ceremony, Rick Cruz, a current resident of the Tripler Fisher House, spoke to the audience about his experience at Fisher House and how their contributions have affected him and other residents. Cruz, a retired Marine, brought his wife from Guam to be treated at TAMC.
When estimating how much it would have cost him and his wife to stay downtown for the 10 months of treatment she requires, the hotel alone would have cost $30,000.
"Fisher House stands out and provides a comfortable home environment," Cruz said. "We appreciate every gift and personal contribution. I can't stress enough our appreciation for all you do."
Following Cruz, Johnson invited all the groups, one-by-one, to be recognized and have their photograph taken with two vice chairs of the Fisher House Foundation, Audrey Fisher and Nancy Edelman, who were visiting as Fisher House Ambassadors.
James Weisskopf, vice president of the Fisher House Foundation, also attended the event with Fisher and Edelman. He said he always enjoys Tripler's Fisher Houses because they are the only houses where the residents act as volunteers and cook for each other.
"Even the smallest gestures we make (for the residents) … it all really does make a difference," Johnson said.