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11/1/10: Shonda Schilling shares family’s journey with Asperger’s at Emerson Hospital Auxiliary annual meeting

The Emerson Hospital Auxiliary recently hosted its 86th annual meeting and luncheon at the Nashawtuc Country Club.  Anne Lehmann, Auxiliary president, convened the business portion of the meeting, welcoming members and guests and thanking them for their ongoing support.

The Auxiliary’s fiscal year-end gift, combined with Emerson’s community services gift shop contribution, was $226,000.  Anne Lehmann and Sharon Knox, director of community services, presented a check to Christine Schuster, Emerson Hospital president and CEO.  The funds donated will contribute to a variety of programs at Emerson, including Bethke Cancer Center services, the pediatric intervention team, cardiac rehabilitation, transport wheelchairs, and caregiver scholarships.

Special to this year’s annual meeting was the keynote presentation of Shonda Shilling, who is the wife of retired Boston Red Sox All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling. She spoke with candor about the challenges of raising four children.  She also shared her story about their family’s journey with their son, who has Asperger’s syndrome. 

When the meeting adjourned, she autographed copies of her book “The Best Kind of Different,” which describes every step in her family’s journey through Asperger’s and provides a candid portrait of the condition from a parent’s point of view. 

The Auxiliary activities this year encompassed 1,180 patient “touches,” 500 corporate sponsors, and eight new activities reaching 24 communities via 14 media outlets.  Activities included quilts for Bethke Cancer Center patients, pediatric pillowcases, teddy bears, Tree of Lights, and Cookies by the Pound for Emerson employees.  Also, the Auxiliary participated in a variety of events, including the hospital’s Health and Wellness Day, Acton Networking Group, Nashoba Brooks School Country Fair, Lincoln’s Codman Fair, and Concord’s 375th Celebration Parade.

The Emerson Hospital Auxiliary supports the hospital community awareness, patient support, and fundraising activities.  Anyone interested in becoming a member or learning about the Auxiliary should contact Karen McCarthy at 978-371-2133.

Pictured at the Auxiliary's annual meeting are Anne Lehmann (at left), president of the Auxiliary, and Shonda Schilling.