Bringing out the Best: Rumors Deli feeds patients at Good Samaritan Health Clinic

Left to right: Good Samaritan Health Clinic Executive Director Jolanda Hutson, Rumors Deli Owner Annette Harris, and Good Samaritan volunteers Beth Moultrie and Paula Waters. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Rumors Deli paid a flavorful visit to Good Samaritan Health Clinic Thursday, delivering 100 meals for the clinic staff to give to its patients, thanks to a gift from a stranger in Virginia.

Rumors Owner Annette Harris explained, “Working late one night at the deli, I got a phone call. I normally don’t answer the phone that late, but just thought I would. Answered the phone, and it was a man named Michael Wendel with AVW Technologies out of Virginia. I thought that was kind of strange, but he just told me that he wanted to help our business during this time, and he also wanted to let me help the community somehow. He just wanted to let me decide who needed the help, since I live here.

“So I thought about it, and wanted to help somebody that maybe has not had help. I thought about it, and he kind of wanted to help people that (are) less fortunate, which led me to call the Good Samaritan Clinic. I spoke with (Good Samaritan Executive Director Jolanda Hutson) and decided to do free lunches for these people. We were excited about it, and so we came up with this.”

Wendel is president of AVW Technologies, a Chesapeake, Virginia-based defense contractor providing engineering analytical services to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. According to Harris, he has a son at the University of Alabama but no previous connection to Rumors, and no connection to Cullman of which Harris is aware.

Harris admitted she initially thought the phone call might be a prank, and it took a second phone call from her to Wendel to seal the deal.

In a statement, Hutson said, “We are blessed to be a part of something really great today. I’m so thankful AVW Technologies in VA reached out to our community here in Cullman wanting to help. And I’m thankful that Annette thought of Good Samaritan Clinic and is enabling us to serve or ‘treat’- pun intended- our patients in a less customary way. The United Way Food Bank is just across the street and we typically look to them and other organizations to provide for the food needs in our community. But today, thanks to a generous donor and Rumors Deli, Good Samaritan gets to help meet this need in our community specifically for our patients. It’s a fun way for the staff and volunteers to get to serve our patients.”

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W.C. Mann