A local husband and wife who got lucky when they won $40 million from the Washington State Lottery in 2002 paid it forward. Now, the selfless act has been reciprocated.
On Wednesday, Dec. 1, Harbor Regional Health renamed one of its buildings the Richard and Patricia Warren Medical Services Building, which sits at 1006 North H St. From 2016-20, the Warren’s estate created a trust of just over $6.3 million for the Harbor Regional Health Community Hospital Foundation. The building’s front lawn was the scene for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Lynette Buffington, CEO of Greater Grays Harbor Inc., and the Chamber of Commerce, spoke about the necessity of Wednesday’s gathering — where about 20 people showed up — during her introduction before the ribbon cutting.
“We’re here to recognize a really monumental moment for the community of Harbor Regional Health and the investment of a family into the community,” she said. “Thank you all for coming out. It’s really meaningful.”
Raymond Lee, brother of the late Patricia, beamed with pride as he spoke about his sister and her husband’s generous donation.
“I think what they’ve done is one of the greatest things anybody can do,” Lee said. “Both Pat and Dick believed that people who are wealthy should help poor, underprivileged people. They always said that. They really believed in that and they showed they did what they believed.”
Chris Thomas, who is on the board of commissioners for Harbor Regional Health, said it was very important to recognize what the Warren family contributed to the community and to the hospital.
Thomas then detailed how the Warren family’s generosity would help the hospital.
“This will go to help provide equipment,” Thomas said. “Perhaps new MRI machines, new ventilators (and) any number of lifesaving equipment.”
Ward 3 Position 5 council member Liz Ellis, who was at the event because she represents the area, didn’t know the Warren family until recently. But, she likes what she’s learned and she was glad to be at the ribbon cutting.
“Learning more about them, it’s really fabulous that they were civic-minded and cared enough to put together an endowment for the hospital,” Ellis said. “Very generous.”
Jarlene Lee, who was helping her father Raymond, said her aunt and uncle did a very wonderful thing in giving to the community hospital.
“It’s a really great thing to see that they gave back to the community like they have,” she said. “They were just really sweet people. They were definitely some of (Raymond’s) favorite people, whom he always talks about.”
Jarlene said she’s glad the hospital staff chose to rename the building after her family.
“It’s just really nice to see something they did can come back,” she said. “To be honored this way, with everything they’ve done, is just a really sweet thing.”