Patient and Donor Stories
Sally and Paul Belisle
Sally and Paul Belisle, couple voted “Most Likely to Volunteer.” They man (and woman!) the round welcome desk at the Lepage Conference Center every week, and for the past 18 years have volunteered at d’Youville Pavilion, in addition to volunteering at their church, library, and local college.
“St. Mary’s has been our hospital of choice for over sixty years!” says Sally, who has also been on the Community Clinical Services board for 15 years. “We feel called to share our time, talents and resources.” The Belisles are particularly connected to the mission of the Food Pantry at the Nutrition Center. “Philanthropy isn’t only for the very rich,” she says. “We do the best we can with what we have so graciously received. And Paul and I really trust St. Mary’s to use our donations to reach out to the needy in ways that we, as individuals, cannot.”
René and Julia Dumont
René was born and raised in Lewiston, and he and Julia met while they were undergraduates in Boston in the early 1980s. In 1992, Julia noticed a job listing in the Boston Globe for a Director of Planning at St. Mary’s, and she thought it would be a perfect fit for René. Soon thereafter, they moved to Auburn, and over the last 25 years, they have raised their five children here. They have been very involved in the community, as well as strong financial supporters of St. Mary’s and several other charities. René is St. Mary’s Health System’s Vice President for Strategic Growth. Julia has managed the family's busy household over the years, serving as the glue that keeps everything and everyone together.
“We always put our family first … our children, our parents, our brothers and sisters. For us, family also means the Lewiston/Auburn community where we choose to live and work, to learn and worship, and to receive our health care. For our family and the generations before us, St. Mary’s has been an important part of our story. Over the years St. Mary’s has been with us through life’s celebrations, challenges, and the everyday milestones in between. St. Mary’s has always supported us with expert minds and caring hands. We are proud to be part of the St. Mary’s family, and the medical center will always have our family’s gratitude and support. We consider it a privilege to be a part of this remarkable legacy.”
Ryan Armstrong, 24, is a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy. He is now serving as Third Assistant Engineer on the Articulated Tug and Barge, Legend, in Jacksonville, Florida. He gave his “First Fruits”—his very first paycheck—to St. Mary’s, to acknowledge that his accomplishments weren’t only made on his own.
"Somewhere in either high school or college I heard someone mention giving your first paycheck to God. I’m not entirely sure where I heard the idea, but regardless, it stuck. I really felt the appreciation that the people at the hospital expressed to me. It was outstanding. It will keep me coming back as a donor. I tell my friends it’s OK to treat yourself, but I also tell them to consider giving and donating as a down payment on life. Maybe Heaven is my IRA—ha ha! But as my grandfather, and now my dad, always tell me, ‘If not you, then who?'"