Renown Regional Medical Center Healing Garden Underway|
$250,000 Donation from the Wilbur D. May Foundation Moves the Needle on Fundraising Efforts
Reno, Nev. (Oct. 22, 2008) – Renown Regional Medical Center is thrilled to announce Fianna’s Healing Garden is underway with a grand opening event planned for spring 2009. Named after longtime Reno resident, business leader and passionate gardener, Fianna Combs, the garden is designed to be a place where medical concerns and pain can be replaced by the serenity and beauty of the outdoors. Combs, who recently lost her life to cancer, was instrumental in helping plan and design the garden, which is now named in her honor.
“Fianna was involved in the garden project because she wanted to make a contribution and to help others in their time of need,” said Peter C. Lim, M.D., medical director of gynecologic oncology for Renown Health. “It is our hope that the garden will reflect Fianna’s vision and provide a place where patients, families and friends can find peace, comfort and heal.”
To date, more than $700,000 in community donations have been raised for the garden. This includes a gift of $250,000 made by the Wilbur D. May Foundation. This gift will support the Wilbur D. May Labyrinth, which will include internationally known San Francisco artist Cork Marcheschi’s “Column That Supports the Sky: Homage to Brancusi,” a 21 foot tall sculpture made of steel and blown glass.
Research shows that for thousands of years people have found tranquility in walking labyrinths and they are often found in healing environments. As visitors to the garden traverse the labyrinth’s meandering path, they will find opportunities for meditation and contemplation, ultimately arriving at the maze’s center to discover Marcheschi’s sculpture.
Fianna’s eldest daughter and brother, Rebecca Dickson and Harvey Fennell, have been an integral part of the garden’s steering committee and have helped bring community generosity to the project. The garden is made possible by many local contributions including $50,000 from Renown Health employees. Other top contributors include Pete and Turkey Stremmel, The Glenn Group, Brooks Johnson and Sue Clark-Johnson, Renown Health Auxiliary, Dickson, Combs & Fennell Families, Robert and Jean Myles and Clark and Sullivan Constructors. The steering committee has raised nearly three quarters of the required funds for the project and contributions are still being accepted. Interested parties can visit www.renown.org or call 982-5545 for more information.
Located on the ground floor next to the walkway leading from the Mill Street Parking Garage into the Tahoe Tower, Fianna’s Healing Garden will be approximately 14,195 feet (about the size of five tennis courts). Upkeep for the garden will be done by a committee of volunteers, donating their time and green thumbs, to keep the garden looking pristine.
Designed around research showing the healing power of gardens and natural surroundings, the garden will be home to a variety of native and medicinal plants, trees, flowers and herbs. Private sitting areas and three large original Marcheschi sculptures by will add to the garden’s distinctive ambiance.
Local gallery owner and community leader, Turkey Stremmel, worked closely with Marcheschi to commission these sculptures for the garden. Marcheschi, who has more than 50 public sculptures in America, is most famous for his work with light in sculptures. A teacher at the Pilchuck School of Glass, Marcheschi’s three pieces are thought provoking and inspiring. Each dynamic piece of art will have its own place in the garden surrounded by natural elements that will enhance the look and feel of each piece.
“Art brings a whole new component to the healing process,” said Stremmel. “We chose the pieces for Fianna’s Healing Garden intending that they could distract patients from their pain or give concerned family members the place to start a needed dialogue.”
As part of Renown Health’s Healing Arts program, the garden is a significant addition intended to have an impact on all those who experience it. To watch Fianna’s Healing Garden grow or find out more, visit www.renown.org/healing.
Renown Health has been committed to the Healing Arts since the early 1990s. During this time, a book titled "The Harvest of Lesser Burdens: Art in the Field of Medicine" was published in partnership with the Nevada Museum of Art. The visual arts component was expanded during the opening of the Tahoe Tower which features more than 400 works of original art, including two works in each of the 190 private patient rooms. In April 2008 music at the bedside was launched and features weekly visits to the oncology and pediatric units at Renown Regional as well as other specially scheduled performances.