DOWNEY - Local philanthropist Dr. Mary Stauffer was admitted to Downey Regional Medical Center on March 24 to remove what she described as an intestinal obstruction. She says it had been bothering her for quite some time.After almost three weeks of rest at DRMC, she is now rehabbing at Villa Elena Healthcare Center in Norwalk. She was originally scheduled to be transferred to Downey Rehab on Paramount Boulevard, but the facility was full. She was in mid-lunch munching on a burger when I paid her a visit on Monday. Her tray also had catsup, mayonnaise, orange sections, non-dairy cream, and coffee. It was her first "solid" meal, she said. She also said she mostly felt less weak than tired. Her visitors so far were old familiar faces - Dr. Wendy Doty and Roger Brossmer, Martha Sodetani, Jackie Dudley, John Lacey, Ed Sussman, Mario Guerra, family - and, as I stood up to go, Mary Jo Enyeart. Stauffer gave me the impression she wanted to go home, if that were possible. "I've missed a lot of things already: meetings, church, the Rotary Club, the Assisteens function," the still active nonagenarian said. The rehab regimen for Stauffer is aimed, of course, at gaining her strength back. Chief of nurses Heather Conwell, also a good friend, says it usually takes a while after major surgery to achieve complete rehab. Stauffer can be reached, for now, at (562) 868-0591. Library volunteers In his welcoming remarks as emcee of the 27th annual volunteer and major recognition brunch on April 9, Downey mayor Luis Marquez reminded everyone present that "Volunteerism is all about the good of the city" and that "Whatever your contribution, you are an integral part of the city's success." Volunteers at the city library, of course, have through the years helped regular staff bind and shelve books, served as literacy mentors, put in perhaps a couple of hours a week at the Friends store, and otherwise made themselves useful in the work of the library. Special mention was made also of the generous gifts to the library given by major donors such as the Friends of the Library themselves, the Downey Association of Realtors, the Lucy Gioga Memorial, the Peggy Hetzel Memorial Fund, the Margaret Mahlman Memorial, Peter & Patricia Meursinge, Art & Jo Ochoa, the Rotary Club of Downey and Helen Tolle Memorial. Also praised for their inestimable sundry contributions were the members of the Library Advisory Board as well as the Friends of the Library Board, even as Vic Robles, otherwise known as 'the Sax Guy Vic', provided unobtrusive entertainment. Director of community services Thad Phillips, who is serving as acting city librarian with the departure of Nancy Messineo, noted that while other city libraries have cut services, "our library has managed to be open six days a week." But it remained for Friends president Cleo Latimer to put the library's ultimate role in context in the scheme of things: "I consider the city library as the most important building in the city, for what it means."
********** Published: April 14, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 52