For Nick Shaink and Ron Perry of Professional Drywall Construction, supporting Baystate Health Foundation was an easy choice. The decision to direct their donations toward pediatric care was an even easier one.
When Nick’s then-four year old daughter stopped breathing, he and his wife knew they needed to quickly get her to the Sadowsky Family Pediatric Emergency Department at Baystate Medical Center. Their daughter was diagnosed with asthma and needed to stay under supervision at the hospital for two days. During those days, she was offered the opportunity to choose a toy to take home. Nick curiously asked where the toys came from and learned they were donated and, at the time, the emergency department could use more.* For Nick, it clicked and he knew how he wanted to help Baystate Health.
“A bad thing actually led to a good thing,” shared Nick. “Every time I’m there, I learn something new. The work they do really makes a difference.”
Inspired to give back
Nick and Ron took over Professional Drywall Construction in 2018, and with that shift, they decided to support Baystate Children’s Hospital through an annual toy drive, a nod to Nick’s experience with his daughter. Also, their support expanded when they were invited for a tour with Joeli Hettler, MD, pediatric emergency chief. It was then that they learned more about the services offered and challenges faced by the medical team, including the increased number of behavioral health patients who need to be treated and stay in the pediatric emergency department.
“When we walked through the pediatric emergency department, I was blown away,” said Nick.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the little day-to-day things and be stressed, but when we walked through the pediatric emergency department, it just seemed like nothing else mattered. Dr. Hettler and her team are dealing with life and death scenarios with kids,” added Ron.
This feeling stuck with them. When they returned to the car after their tour, they made a decision about where the proceeds of their annual golf tournament would go.
“We looked at each other and said ‘That’s it. That’s what we’re supporting,” shared Nick.
And they did. Their tournament raised $25,000 this past August to support behavioral health patients in the pediatric emergency department. On top of that, they’ve supported the Foundation through a generous gift commitment, a Facebook birthday event, and they are continuing their support for toys, which is a special way for them to involve their children. This brings it all full circle to create an opportunity to teach the younger generation about giving back and the impact they can make.
“It feels good to know that the money that we give and the time that we spend actually helps,” said Ron. “It’s very easy to give to Baystate Health Foundation.”
* Please note that due to infection control standards, we cannot accept physical items of any kind.