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February 2013 Check Presentation

Friday, March 8, 2013

When dark clouds descend upon our lives, we depend upon the compassionate human touch of others to help us through and give us a ray of light and warmth. Never is this truer than when a family member is critically ill, and his or her loved ones desperately need a caring hand to hold onto. This soothing balm, this magical touch of healing is the precious gift that nurses bestow upon patients and their families.

For John and Tracy Scheck, helping to educate nurses to fulfill this need is an all-consuming passion. With a special place in their hearts for the smallest and most vulnerable – critically ill and premature infants – whose lives hang in the balance, and the needs of their anguished families, the couple has devoted their lives to providing them with the compassionate nursing care they need.

The inspiration for this devotion originated in a very tender and personal space in the Scheck’s hearts, as their family was forever touched by the compassion and caring of nurses.

“My sister had a child who suffered from hypoplastic left heart syndrome and twelve weeks later passed away. To this day, seventeen years later, my sister still talks about how wonderful those nurses were to the entire family. They brought meals, took care of the other kids at times when my sister had to stop working. They were fabulous. Nurses make a terrible experience a little easier on the families,” said Tracy.

“So we were looking specifically to help the neonatal intensive care unit at Regency Center for Women, but didn’t want to stop there. We really wanted to do something to make sure we continue to produce these nurses that have this heart and this generosity that surpasses anyone I know, but may not have the funds. It’s so important,” she added.

Accordingly, in 2012, the Scheck’s hosted a first-of-its-kind event in the community – the inaugural Polk County Cup Tennis Tournament in Winter Haven. This event raises funds for services offered by the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Winter Haven Hospital’s Regency Center for Women and Infants. It also raises awareness of the needs of such infants, and provides scholarships to nursing students at Polk State College. To encourage students to give back to their local community, when selecting scholarship recipients, preference will be given to students who are willing to work at the Regency Center for Women and Infants after graduation.

On February 25, 2013 at a check presentation ceremony at the Polk State College Board of Trustees meeting, John and Tracy were honored for their enormous generosity and their passionate commitment to the cause of outstanding nurses and healthy babies. They presented a $10,000 commitment from the Polk County Cup proceeds at the meeting. 

Kevin Ashley, Development Chair of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors, gave warmhearted thanks on behalf of the College and his fellow members of the Foundation, Board of Directors, the Trustees, as well as the nursing students who will benefit from their generosity, and the babies who will live to lead healthy lives because of their vision.

“John and Tracy had an idea that was not only creative, but was a wise investment. John and Tracy, thank you very much for your creativity, your vision and your commitment. We greatly appreciate it,” said Ashley.

Pictured left to right: Linda Pilkington, Dan Dorrell, John Scheck, Tracy Scheck, Mark Turner, Dr. Eileen Holden, Greg Littleton, and Ernie Pinner.