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Ken and Nancy Klueh (center) surrounded by their grandchildren

From One Groundbreaking to Another

November 30, 2021
Nancy Klueh and her husband, Ken, watched GBMC’s groundbreaking for The Promise Project from their computer. Even miles away in Delaware, the long-time Towson couple wanted to bear witness to another milestone in the history of their community hospital because this wasn’t Nancy Klueh’s first groundbreaking event.

“There is a black and white picture somewhere at the groundbreaking for Gilchrist, and I didn’t even recognize myself,” Klueh said.

Klueh was president of the GBMC Volunteer Auxiliary at the time Gilchrist was founded and had served as vice president before that. During a decades-long volunteer journey with GBMC, she has served on the Ethics Committee, a Gilchrist Advisory Committee and volunteered in post-partum.

In 1990, Klueh took a year off teaching first and second grade at McDonogh to focus on her daughter’s wedding and her pursuit of a master’s degree. She had always been interested in medicine, so with some extra time on her hands, she applied to volunteer at GBMC. She never went back to teaching.

Choosing GBMC to volunteer was the easy part. When the Kluehs first moved to Baltimore from the Chicago suburbs for Ken Klueh to take the Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary position with Monumental Life Insurance, they became acquainted with GBMC quickly.

“They say when you move to a new town or city the first thing you want to do is find the closest hospital. And with three young girls, that’s what I did,” Nancy Klueh said. “We moved in June and by December we were in the Emergency Room when one of the girls had appendicitis.”

Since then, all but one of their eight grandchildren has been born at GBMC and Ken Klueh has had two major surgeries. But Nancy Klueh’s most memorable experience at GBMC is with their first grandchild.

“My daughter was living in Milan, Italy at the time, but her doctor sent her to the States to be on bedrest with us,” Klueh said. “I was in a meeting at the volunteer office and the secretary came in to say, ‘you need to get over to L&D, you are about to have your first granddaughter.’ She weighed 2’12” and spent some time in the NICU.”

Klueh understands how important GBMC has been in her family’s life when they needed good, quality, compassionate healthcare and desires the same for future families. It is why she and her husband made a gift to The Promise Project.

“It’s a great feeling to be part of it in this way,” Klueh said. “I am proud to see that things are moving forward and continuing to grow rather than the alternative. I feel confident it will be around when I need it.”

As a faithful volunteer and former GBMC Volunteer Auxiliary president, Klueh chose to give as part of a volunteer match, started by two other former presidents, Bill Murray and Rodica Johnson.

“It just so happened the challenge came as my husband and I were discussing how much to give,” Klueh said. “We thought it would be a good reflection of the volunteers, who are very generous in my experience.”

To contribute to the match, volunteers can give outright gifts, commit to a pledge that can span up to five years, or consider a planned gift of estate or securities. Whatever the amount and whatever the avenue, each gift supports the future of patient care at GBMC.

While the Auxiliary’s collective giving on behalf of the volunteers has been incredibly impactful over the years to many service areas at GBMC, the autonomy and individual pride in giving to the match highlights just how incredible GBMC volunteers are.

“I recognize they are already gracious with their time,” Klueh said of her fellow GBMC volunteers, “but if they can give, it would serve as a great reminder that volunteers are here to support GBMC, even when we can’t be there in person.”

Since becoming more involved in volunteer leadership at GBMC and attending state meetings of all hospital volunteer groups, Klueh has seen how different GBMC is from other hospitals in terms of their volunteers.

“Access helps volunteers get things done, and volunteers appreciate GBMC letting them do more than just push papers,” Klueh said. “The hospital has always been willing to at least listen to our ideas and we work well with the hospital. It’s a partnership and always has been.”

From one groundbreaking to another and everything in between.

To learn more about The Promise Project, track fundraising progress and learn how to make your promise, visit The Promise Project website.
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