Allie Martin

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Video: Festival of Hope Chairperson Has Strong Ties To Charitable Group

[bitsontherun AcqyUDrK]BALDWYN, MISS (WCBI) - Things have been very busy lately for Rhonda Saunders. She is administrator at NMMC’s Baldwyn Nursing Facility. And she is also honorary chairman of this year’s Festival of Hope. That is the annual fundraiser for the organization known as Project Hope, which helps patients suffering from heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Money is also used to assist family members of patients with unexpected expenses.

Saunders was asked to be honorary chairperson because of an unexpected event last year.

“I received that honor due to the fact that I had a heart attack this past year in June,” Saunders said.

Along with her duties at work, she has also helped organize a team at the nursing facility to raise money for the Festival of Hope.

“We have been busy we have been selling t shirts and had a silent auction here at the facility,” she said.

Saunders has made a full recovery and exercises regularly and watches her diet. She also wants to use her work with Project Hope to make women more aware of the signs and symptoms of heart disease.

“Don’t ignore symptoms, if you feel like you are having chest pain, it’s better to have it checked out and to let folks know there are resources for them who have heart disease, diabetes and cancer because medications are so expensive and there are resources out there to help them get services they need,” Saunders said.

The entire staff at is on board, next week the nursing facility will host a hamburger and hot dog cookout all money raised goes to project hope. Team members say they count it a privilege to help families in this area deal with life;s unexpected trials.

This year’s Festival of Hope is in honor of Hank Boerner.  He was director of NMMC’s Wellness Center, and passed away suddenly in December. Boerner founded Project Hope more than 20 years ago.  For more information go to www.projecthopems.com