26 years after the Tree of Life Sculpture at the McColl Health Center was dedicated, a new leaf is sprouting, and it reads “Ken & Juanita Miles.”
After a short stay in the hospital due to a fall, Ken Miles found himself a short term resident of the McColl Health Center for physical therapy. One day, he recognized the names of some old friends and great benefactors on the plaques of the Tree of Life, including his late friend John McColl, a visionary and propelling force behind making St. Paul’s what it is today. Ken was inspired to support this skilled nursing community that cares for seniors with true compassion and concern.
John McColl was a longtime board member at St. Paul’s. His late wife, Sharon, was also extremely involved and became the Community Relations Director of St. Paul’s. Together, they were instrumental in the success of St. Paul’s in so many ways. Sharon once said, “With the Tree of Life Program, we are provided an appropriate method of honoring the friends and families who have been so kind to our elderly residents. Throughout all ages, to almost everyone, trees have stood as symbols of life. What better way to pay tribute to our elderly?”
The Tree of Life itself is a magnificent sculpture of a mighty oak sheltering a shepherd as he tends to his lambs. The Tree’s branches and leaves offer protection and a peaceful resting place, symbolizing the care, strength and assurance offered to the families of our community by the Center. The Tree of Life is a tribute not only to the community, but to the Center’s many friends, donors and loved ones who are remembered by their families.
The Tree of Life at the McColl Health Center was donated in loving memory of Ellen McDade by her son, Dr. William C. McDade, and his family. Mrs. McDade was a longtime resident at St. Paul’s, having stayed at the Manor and later at the Health Center.
The sculpture is an original bronze carving by artist Sanford Werfel, and is located at the entrance of the McColl Health Center. Dedicated in the spring of 1986, the leaves and stones of the Tree tell us of the commitment of many individuals, families, corporations and foundations to provide quality care for the elderly. Deep rooted community support is the basis for the Tree of Life program and for the Center itself.
Each leaf represents a donation to the Center. Gifts of $1,000 to $10,000 are recognized by an engraved leaf on the Tree, and stones symbolize major gifts of $10,000 or more.
Next time you are in the Health Center, take a moment to read some of the plaques. They tell a story of loved ones, they recognize a significant event for one of the many families who have come to the Center, or honor those who have served here.
Todd Kaprielian, Foundation Director, considers this Tree of Life a special tribute. “It’s a glowing reflection of the kindness and warmth in people’s hearts. The generosity of their philanthropy is a gift of care for others. The fact that this Tree is still sprouting new leaves a quarter century after its dedication is a testimony to the fact that the staff here are touching lives in a profound way.”
Thank you Mr. Miles for your contribution to St. Paul’s, and for continuing the vision and the legacy that your friend John McColl set in motion so many years ago.