A big donation

Published 9:15 pm Saturday, August 3, 2013

John and Ginger Kennedy and executive director Miriam Beiler, right, stand in front of Western Tidewater Free Clinic, which recently netted $50,000 from the sale of a property the Kennedy’s donated to the clinic.

John and Ginger Kennedy and executive director Miriam Beiler, right, stand in front of Western Tidewater Free Clinic, which recently netted $50,000 from the sale of a property the Kennedys donated to the clinic.

Free clinic turns gift of land into $50,000

By William Scott


A donation of land to the Western Tidewater Free Clinic from a Windsor couple netted the clinic $50,000 when it sold at a recent auction.


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John and Ginger Kennedy donated 1.8 acres of cleared land to the Western Tidewater Free Clinic. They purchased the land, located at 103 Windy Pines, in 2005 to build a home but decided against the plan after the decline in the housing market.

“I honestly think we would have killed each other trying to build a house,” John Kennedy joked this week. “We were trying to build it ourselves, and we wanted to try and build it without borrowing money. We had a five-year plan that turned into a six-year plan of saving money to build a house.”

After about a year and a half of trying to sell the property, the couple decided to donate the land. After contacting local real estate lawyer Frank Rawls, the Kennedys were given a list of possible places to donate the property. Western Tidewater Free Clinic stood out to the couple, according to John Kennedy, which led to the donation. Kennedy said Rawls did not charge any money to assist in the transaction.

“I think I said, ‘Are you sure?’” Miriam Beiler, executive director at the clinic, recalled as her reaction. “I think one of the surprising things about it was we had never met the Kennedys before. That made it somewhat unique that they weren’t really familiar with the clinic and still chose to give to the clinic.”

The clinic auctioned the land for $50,000.

“We’re definitely satisfied with where it (the land) went to,” Ginger Kennedy said. “I think they’re doing very well. They help with a lot of areas of care. I’m impressed.”

The Western Tidewater Free Clinic accepts about 45 new patients each month. The facility has a waiting list of patients who need care, and the donation will help the clinic help those in need, according to Beiler. The money will be used for general operations in the facility.

“It’s manna from heaven.” Said Virginia Savage, former president and a founder of the clinic.

The clinic opened in 2007 and has served more than 2,300 patients, according to its 2012 State of the Mission Report. The clinic offers primary medical care, dental care, mental health counseling, prescription medication, care coordination, physical therapy, speech therapy, and laboratory and diagnostics testing.

The clinic is also dependent on volunteer work. From its opening through 2012, the facility has received a combined 67,252 hours of volunteer work with a market value of $2.4 million, according to the report.

“We really couldn’t operate the clinic without our volunteers.” Beiler said.

The clinic works with several other medical centers in the area, such as Sentara Obici Hospital, Lakeview Medical Center and area specialists.

In the event that a patient arrives at the clinic with medical needs not provided by the facility, the clinic will send the patient to the appropriate facility for diagnostic testing, such as X-rays, lab work or blood work, according to Beiler.