Endowment honors winners of Watkins award

Local residents and business owners were honored for their support of Lawrence Memorial Hospital at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the LMH Endowment Association.

Four individuals and three businesses were named winners of the Elizabeth Watkins Award for making contributions of time, talent and treasure to benefit LMH. The Watkins awards are named for Elizabeth Miller Watkins, one of Lawrence's most significant philanthropists. Her gifts continue to benefit LMH – and, of course, the University of Kansas. In 1928, Mrs. Watkins gave $200,000 (that’s more than $2.7 million in today’s money) to build a new hospital.

If you would like to make a nomination for the Watkins award, here is more information.

These are the 2017 winners of the LMH Endowment Watkins award:

Cindy Sargent

Catch a Break founder and committee chairman, Cindy Sargent, is a 10-year breast cancer survivor. Cindy knows about cancer. And she knows fighting it can create financial hardships for survivors and their families. So she established the Catch a Break organization to accept donations to give Lawrence Memorial Hospital cancer survivors a financial boost when things are tough. At the Arctic Blast luncheon on February 26, the Catch a Break organization will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Cindy has served on the Catch a Break committee at LMH Endowment; the Van Go board; and the Rock’n Bowl – a Strike in the Fight against Cancer committee. She has held managerial positions in the retail industry for 30 years. She has two children, Anthony and Matthew. She enjoys community service, sports, walking and gardening. She also is an avid reader of all books -- especially biographies.

Val Stella

Val Stella is an emeritus University Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kansas. He has served on the board of the Biosciences and Technology Business Center since its inception, and he has founded or co-founded three small drug companies. He is the inventor or co-inventor of four drugs and 10 other pharmaceutical products. He is a past president and member of the LMH Endowment Board. During his time on the board, Val provided strong leadership, introducing many potential donors to LMH. And he always rolled his sleeves up to help in any way he could. He enjoys KU sports, walking, gardening, adventure travel and art collecting. He and his wife, Beth, who also is very active in volunteer activities in the community, have three children, Cathy, Anne and Elise, and four granddaughters.

McDonald’s of Lawrence

Tom and Marilyn Dobski, who own and operate 15 McDonald’s restaurants throughout northeast Kansas, purchased their first McDonald’s franchise November 1, 1981 – more than 35 years ago. The couple moved from Chicago to Leavenworth to take over that first restaurant. After a few years, their small company expanded to Atchison, then Bonner Springs and Lawrence. They also operate eight Topeka restaurants. Marilyn is very active in the Lawrence community. At LMH, she is a member of the Endowment Association’s Advancement and Relationships Committee; has served two terms on the Endowment board; and has co-chaired Hearts of Gold Ball. She also has been active with the Lawrence Schools Foundation, the Lawrence Arts Center, US Bank Community Advisory Board, Douglas County Bank, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the Bill Self Basketball Boogie. In 2013, she received a Habitat for Humanity award for mentoring other women, and in 2010 she was among the first recipients of the Lawrence Business Hall of Fame award. Tom and Marilyn have three sons, Michael, Kevin and Brian.

Briggs Automotive Group

Russ Briggs understands the concept of giving back. He and his employees have a strong commitment philanthropic endeavors in the communities in which the Briggs Automotive Group owns dealerships. In Lawrence, the company supports several organizations, including Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Briggs Automotive Group first entered the Lawrence market in 2009 with the acquisition of Bossier Nissan-Subaru. The company expanded the next year and purchased the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram franchises. Since then, Briggs has invested in its Lawrence dealerships and body shop by remodeling and expanding. The company and its employees also have invested in Lawrence non-profits, including Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Briggs and its employees have made significant contributions to Rock the Block – Kick Cancer and to the Summer Spray-5K runs/walks in Eudora, Baldwin City and Tonganoxie.

Great Plains Media

Lawrence radio stations -- 1320 KLWN, 105.9 KISS FM and 92.9 The Bull – trace their roots back nearly 66 years to February 22, 1951, the day KLWN co-owner Arden Booth first said “good morning. This is KLWN, Lawrence, Kansas.” Although the radio station and its sister stations now are owned and operated by Great Plains Media, their commitment to service is strong. And it still features “According to the Record” with Arden’s son, Hank, which is the longest-running radio program in Kansas. KLWN and its soon-to-be-launched FM sister station focus on local news and talk, as well as sports. KISS FM plays Top 40 music, and is the FM Home of the Jayhawks, while 92.9 The Bull features country music. The stations’ in-kind and on-air donations to area non-profits are significant, including ongoing support of the LMH Endowment Association’s Rock the Block – Kick Cancer; Penny Jones golf tournament; Summer Spray 5K’s in Eudora, Tonganoxie and Baldwin City.

Liv Frost

Liv, a Lawrence Memorial Hospital social worker for 12 years, started her LMH career working with surgical, maternity and pediatric patients. For the past seven years, she has worked at LMH Oncology, which has become her home. A graduate of the social work master’s program at University of Kansas, Liv always knew that her love of helping people would be her career. At LMH, she helps oncology patients with financial and emotional support, finding local resources to make their journeys a little bit easier. Liv is on the board of the Catch a Break organization through LMH Endowment, which assists cancer survivors by providing funds to help with rent, utilities, food and gas. Each day, Liv says, she draws inspiration from the oncology patients’ portraits and stories that line the hallway outside of her office.

Liz Botkin

More than 40 years ago, Liz Botkin started her career at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Before she transferred two years ago to the purchasing department to work as a contract and value analyst, she was a longtime employee and supervisor in LMH Central Service and Supply and Sterile Processing. As its name indicates, the department is where medical/surgical supplies and equipment -- both sterile and nonsterile -- are cleaned, prepared, processed, stored and issued for patient care at LMH and affiliated clinics. For the past seven years, Liz has combined philanthropy with her love of golf and headed up the KU women’s basketball golf tournament, which supports Kansas women's basketball and the LMH Breast Center. And Liz has offered her expertise to the LMH Endowment Association’s Penny Jones golf tournament. She’s played and volunteered and, for the past five years, she’s been in charge of food and beverages. She also has volunteered with the Endowment’s Stepping Out Against Breast Cancer event, which now is known as Rock the Block – Kick Cancer. In her time away from LMH, Liz likes to spend time with her sister, play golf -- and watch sports.

Endowment honors winners of Watkins Award

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries related to LMH Health contact:
Amy Northrop
Director of Communication
Phone: 785-505-2931
Email: Amy.Northrop@lmh.org