On June 16, Susan Stone, CEO of Sharp Coronado Hospital, thanked the Coronado Chamber of Commerce for hosting volunteer lunches at the COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic from January until June.
Over the weekend of Jan. 9, the hospital and the City of Coronado, envisioned the possibility of a Vaccination Clinic at the city’s community center. Just days later the first vaccines were given.
Sue Gillingham, Executive Director of the Coronado Chamber of Commerce, contacted the hospital to offer assistance. The missing piece was lunch for the volunteers every day. Gillingham jumped on the task with the idea to solicit community financial donations and buy the lunches from local restaurants. This would combine the residents’ desire to help as well as supporting the food establishments who were reeling from the December shutdown of indoor dining.
“My goal when we started was to provide a couple of weeks of food to help the clinic get established. I had no idea how generous the community would turn out to be,” said Gillingham. As a member of the Rotary Club of Coronado, she asked Club President Robin MacCartee for a few minutes at the next meeting to solicit contributions. Dozens of members stepped up and $2750 was donated that day. The lunch program was up and running.
A call for gifts from Chamber Member businesses and to the general public kept the ball rolling. Rotary Club members, many of whom were volunteering at the clinic, continued to donate for a total of over $7600. Dozens of other businesses, groups, and individuals chipped in to complete the amazing feat of 22 weeks of lunches.
In accepting the recognition from Sharp Coronado Hospital, Gillingham emphasized that the Chamber’s role was to be a catalyst in the process. The credit belonged to the wonderful members of our community who were so generous.
The Coronado Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help businesses succeed so that our community prospers. Since 1937, it has been a champion of keeping a vibrant downtown to ensure the economic health of the village of Coronado.