By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
After 22 years of touring the country via recreational vehicle and raising funds for local organizations the Tucum Sams RV group closed its charter Tuesday with one final donation to the Helping Hands Hospice in Tucumcari.
Sue Tillman, president of the Tucum Sams RV group, presented a check for $812.20 to HHH Board President Mary Jimenez.
“May these funds help your efforts to serve the community and surrounding areas,” Tillman said.
Tillman said the group comprises local members who camped, traveled and raised funds for charities. She said the local chapter received its charter from the National Good Sam Club organization on June 24, 1993.
Founded in 1966 by Trail-R-News, the Good Sam Club, has nearly 1,500 grassroots chapters from Anchorage, Alaska, to Okeechobee, Florida. Originally, members promised to help fellow travelers on America’s highways. That grew into fundraising, volunteering and donating to cause including clean-up days, Adopt-a-Park and Adopt-a-Highway, and Dogs for the Deaf.
Tillman said the local chapter had made donations locally through its 22-year charter. She said the donations were given to local organizations, including the HHH and a they purchased a $5,200 service dog for the deaf.
“We wanted to give the last of our money to the hospice to aid in the service and care they provide,” Tillman said.
The donation is greatly appreciated and will help offset the cost of providing services to patients who do not have insurance, said Jimenez.
Jimenez said the money will help to pay for the equipment and medication for those patients without insurance, Medicaid/Medicare. She said being a non-profit organization, money collected from insurance or Medicaid/Medicare by HHH just pays to keep the operations going.
The money can also be used to help with the cost of office operations, said Diana Beck, HHH board member.
Beck said Helping Hands Hospice is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. She said in those 20 years, end-of-life care has been given by the staff to patients from Clayton to Fort Sumner, and from Santa Rosa to the Texas state line.
Tillman said the local charter is being dissolved because most of its members are too old to travel or no longer own an RV. She said with no younger members joining to fill the vacancies, the group felt it was time to close the chapter.