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Leadership program funds hospital garden

POSTED: August 21, 2009 9:46 a.m.
Photo by Lauren Hunsberger/

Susan McCorkle, president of the 2009 Leadership Liberty class, presents a check to Sam Johnson with Liberty Regional Foundation.

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A class of about half a dozen people who recently graduated from the Leadership Liberty program stood before the Liberty County Hospital Authority on Tuesday afternoon and announced their final project.
“They’ve been raising money to develop and design a bereavement garden at the hospital,” said Kenny Smiley executive director of Leadership Liberty, a program he said is designed to cultivate leaders in the community.
As part of the 10-session class, the students are required to execute a class project to benefit the community, and this year’s class decided to host a variety of sales and events to raise money for the garden.
The garden will be on the front lawn of the hospital and will be open to the public. It will include walkways, benches and gazebos, all meant to help ease the bereavement process.
The class of 2009, which is the fifth class to graduate from the program, raised a total of $7,139 and presented a check to the Regional Medical Foundation during the hospital authority meeting.
“It’s a good project. It touches people’s hearts,” said James Rogers, vice chairman of the hospital authority.
Smiley said Leadership Liberty started five years ago with a start-up grant, and since has had success in preparing community members to help their fellow citizens improve the quality of life in the area.
“Leadership Liberty is an adult leadership class designed to mold and shape future leaders for Liberty County,” Smiley said.  “It was funded through a grant, but now it is funded through tuition from those who participate in class, it’s funded by the Chamber of Commerce, and by local sponsors as well as in-kind sponsors.”
Smiley is now accepting applications for the next class for Leadership Liberty. The program starts in October. For more information, call the Chamber at 368-4445. To donate money toward the garden, go to www.libertyregional.org.
 

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