Cullman Regional Foundation Gala honors outstanding physicians and volunteers

W.C. Mann

H.C. Arnold Humanitarian Honoree Dr. Lori McGrath


CULLMAN – On Saturday evening, Cullman Regional got a boost as the Cullman Regional Foundation and its Service Guild hosted their 16th annual Gala at the Cullman Civic Center.  Attendees enjoyed a gourmet meal from Designs by Grace, danced to live music by the Edd Jones Orchestra and had the opportunity to bid on their choice of 98 items in a silent auction.

Service Guild President Cindy Ponder talked about the event:

“We raise money to advance healthcare in our area at Cullman Hospital, for all the community here.  We have the silent auction; we hope this will raise a lot of money for the event.  We send out invitations, and tonight there’s 351 who responded.  This is the main thing that we do every year.  It takes months of preparation to do all this.

I’ve been in the foundation not quite 10 years yet, and I’m new to the guild.  I love helping people and advancing healthcare.  This benefits all the people who come here and use the hospital.”

Cullman Regional Foundation Director Maria Stanford shared about the funds raised at the event, “We usually raise about $100,000 to benefit Cullman Regional.  The money that’s raised tonight will go back to our foundation, to a fund to help departmental grants at the hospital; it will provide the latest equipment for the medical center.”

In the 15 prior years, the Foundation Gala has raised more than $1 million to support the hospital.


The foundation honored five people who it says have made outstanding contributions to Cullman Regional and area healthcare.

Dr. Lori McGrath received the H.C. Arnold Humanitarian Award.  She has served as Cullman Regional’s vice president for Patient Services, and currently manages the Palliative Care and Heart Failure programs at the hospital.  She also serves on the faculty of Jacksonville State University.

Dr. Howard Williamson received the Herman C. Ensor Award.  In almost 40 years of service as an OB/GYN in Cullman, he has delivered approximately 8,000 babies.  He was president of the medical staff when planning for Cullman Regional’s new facility started, and has served on numerous hospital committees.

Deborah McAfee and Amy Wood were co-recipients of the Spirit of Volunteerism Award.  McAfee has been a member of the service guild since it began; she and her husband hosted the first gala at their home 16 years ago.  Wood is McAfee’s daughter, and is a member of the Cullman Regional Foundation Board.  Both work in interior design at Cullman Cabinet, and they helped plan the decorations for the 2017 Gala.

Jerry Jacob received the Commitment to a Cause Award for his efforts to found the Good Samaritan Health Clinic.  The project brought together medical professionals and 11 local churches to provide free health care to those who are uninsured and do not qualify for Medicaid.

For more information on the Cullman Regional Foundation, visit or

Look for a full photo gallery on our Facebook page at

Copyright 2017 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.