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Wednesday, November 07, 2012 - Fiftieth Birthday has Hospital Gift Shop Tickled Pink
   The celebration of the Pink Placebo’s 50th birthday included recognition of two of the gift shop’s founding members who were present at the event: Mary Ann Campbell King and Jeannie Wilcox.  Long-time volunteer, June Peishel, was also recognized for her work in the gift shop. Pictured from left: Lois Ward, director of Volunteer Services; Wilcox; Mike Belbeck, president and CAO of Methodist Medical Center; Peishel and King.
On Monday, October 29, Methodist Medical Center hosted a celebration for the Pink Placebo Gift Shop’s 50th Birthday. A special sale and reception helped to mark the event, which recognized what the gift shop has done for the hospital over the past 50 years.

Mike Belbeck, president and chief administrative officer at Methodist Medical Center addressed the reception’s attendees, which included current and past hospital volunteers.

“Fifty years ago the hospital made an investment of $2,200 to launch what is now the Pink Placebo Gift Shop,” noted Belbeck.  “Over the years, that investment has returned several million dollars for equipment and services.  What a worthwhile investment for both the hospital and community.”

The event not only recognized the impact that the Pink Placebo has had on Methodist Medical Center, but it was an opportunity to recognize some of the volunteers who have played key roles in the establishment and growth of the gift shop. Two of the shops founding members, Mary Ann Campbell King and Jeannie Wilcox, attended the event and were recognized for their contributions. 

“It seemed like we’d never get the gift shop off the ground,” King noted of the founding volunteers’ efforts to start the Pink Placebo.  “A group of us kept trying to meet but a storm rolled in and we had to cancel.  Then I fell on the ice and hurt myself, and another committee member fell and broke her leg.  But we just kept going despite bad weather and broken bones.”

Volunteer June Peishel was also recognized for her long-time dedication to the Pink Placebo, which has earned her the title of “gift shop go-to person” since 1974- and she’s still an active part of it today.

The Pink Placebo was started by hospital volunteers who wanted to bring something special to the community and give back to the hospital. They certainly achieved it, and the generations of volunteers who have come after them have continued on that tradition of service.

“I would like to say congratulations to our entire team of volunteers, both past and present, for all that they have done to help the gift shop since its opening in 1962,”  said Belbeck.

Fifty years have brought many changes to Oak Ridge and Methodist Medical Center, but as Belbeck said, “There has certainly been one constant for us and that has been the Pink Placebo.”

Here’s to the next 50 years!