Friends of Nursing (FON) is celebrating its 40th Anniversary Oct. 16

Greta & Don Pollard enjoying music by the San  Marco Strings at The Old Fashioned Christmas” tour preview party in 1992 at the Phipps Mansion.

BY MELANIE WALLACE

The Celebration Luncheon will be held at the Wellshire Inn Event Center, 3333 South Colorado Boulevard. Check-in begins at 11 a.m. with the Luncheon at 12:00 noon and the program following. 

A Blast from the Past will include a display of members’ nursing caps and uniforms from an earlier era accompanied by a talk on the history of the caps and other significant memories.  A Christmas Shoppe for early Christmas gifts and décor will recall FON’s beloved fundraiser, An Old Fashioned Christmas Tour at the historic Phipps Mansion.  A Silent Auction and Recognition of the 2020 and 2021 Scholarship Recipients will round out the events of the day.

For 40 years, the purpose of FON has remained to advance professional nursing by providing scholarships for quality education in baccalaureate and higher degree programs in nine Colorado Schools of Nursing.  Membership consists of volunteers from the nursing community and friends of nurses who believe in supporting nursing programs in Colorado.  Over these 40 years, FON has awarded over $1.7 million in scholarships to deserving nursing students.  FON’s scholarship awards are more needed than ever as the cost of education continues to rise and the nursing shortage in the United States continues to grow.  

Founded in 1981 by Greta Pollard and Janet Pirkey as the Friends of Nursing of the University of Denver, this organization was a support group for the school’s nursing students and programs.  When the University of Denver phased out its School of Nursing in 1985, the organization was renamed Friends of Nursing and broadened its scope to include Colorado colleges and universities that grant BSN or higher degrees.  Greta Pollard served as Founding President from May 1981 to June 1983, and is back at the helm leading Friends of Nursing as its current president.  Other charter members who are community luminaries, Past Presidents of FON, and current Board Members include LaFawn Biddle and Phyllis Wicklund. 

Greta Pollard, Helen Holden, Jeanne Reeves, Pat Lambert, Olga Miercart and LaFawn Biddle at “The Old Fashioned Christmas” tour in 1993 at the Phipps Mansion.

The first Bylaws were written by Theresa Brofman and Florence Ruston.  Theresa had a nursing background and Florence was a well-known community leader.  FON has successfully had the relationship of both those with nursing backgrounds and FRIENDS who worked hand-in-hand in fundraising endeavors.

Friends of Nursing’s Old Fashioned Christmas tour was a spectacular event for 12 years.  Local florists beautifully decorated the Phipps Mansion in the Belcaro neighborhood in Denver.  FON members served as room hostesses while other members provided homemade baked goods for The Pantry located in the kitchen of the mansion.  The Patron Dinner was always a dazzling affair launching the tour.  Local high school choirs provided Christmas music each day during the event.  

For information on registering for the Celebration Luncheon, contributing to the scholarship fund, or becoming a member, please call 720-891-341.