Giving Suffolk a good name

Published 9:57 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Obici Healthcare Foundation. There have been many times in recent years when this space has been devoted to a thankful recounting of the fine work that is done with the funds this philanthropic organization gives to other agencies pursuing better health care opportunities for residents of Western Tidewater.

Today, we pause once again to offer a grateful “attaboy” to the foundation’s board of directors, its employees and to the late Amedeo Obici, whose generosity in the mid-20th century made all this largesse possible.

Obici could not possibly have imagined that the foundation that bears his name would one day be known for donating millions of dollars in grants to dozens of organizations devoted to improving the health of his beloved Suffolk and its neighbors in Western Tidewater and Northeastern North Carolina.

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We imagine, however, that he would be beyond pleased with the legacy he left.

That legacy manifested itself most recently in a disbursement of more than $1.75 million in grants to 19 nonprofit organizations serving the area. Award amounts ranged from $15,000 to $268,395.

“Grants made by the Foundation continue Amedeo Obici’s legacy of improving the health status of people living in the service area,” said Annette Beuchler, Foundation president and chief executive officer. “Mr. Obici, the founder of Planter’s Peanuts, was successful in business and passionate about helping the people in Western Tidewater and Gates County, N.C.”

Among the grantees were the following fine programs:

  • Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia — $163,071 for the Western Tidewater Dental Voucher Program to allow financially eligible residents of Western Tidewater to receive acute dental care at participating dental clinics, health centers and private practices.
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School — $45,000 for EVMS Continuity of Care for Western Tidewater to provide access to basic health care to uninsured Western Tidewater Free Clinic patients by engaging medical residents, third-year medical and physician assistant students.
  • Girl Scout Council of the Colonial Coast — $15,000 to support capital improvements to Camp Darden’s ropes course and new outdoor climbing wall for cardio and strength training for Girl Scouts and adults from Western Tidewater.
  • Sentara Obici Hospital — $90,681 to provide high risk expectant families and new parents with case management and home visiting support to increase infant survival rate.
  • And many more.

The Obici Healthcare Foundation continues, long after the death of its namesake, to give Suffolk a good name. We tip our hats to them for their important work.