LAURINBURG — With more than 60 of its staunchest allies gathered on Thursday night, Scotland Memorial Foundation paid tribute during its annual Highland Society dinner to a “true servant, leader, role model and very special friend” whose support of local health care has been unwavering for 40 years.
Hewitt Fulton joined the Scotland Memorial Hospital board of trustees in 1974, serving for a decade and helping to oversee the hospital’s transition from downtown Laurinburg to Lauchwood Drive, where it has become the anchor of Scotland Health Care System’s network of medical providers.
“I’ve heard Hewitt relate many times about the difficulties they encountered to even make payroll during those years, and for me the spirit of commitment and dedication that was needed to make it through that period is reflected in Hewitt Fulton,” said foundation board chairman Guy McCook.
McCook also described Fulton as a paragon of vision, setting a standard for current and future leaders to emulate.
Fulton currently serves on the Scotland Memorial Foundation board of trustees, which he joined in 2001. Scotland Health Care System board chairman Mike Vinson introduced Fulton on Thursday through the lens of the Andy Griffith show as someone whose extraordinary generosity and leadership are a matter of the everyday “in this Mayberry-like town.”
“When looking for the perfect role model for how to be the chairman of a board, you need look no further than Hewitt Fulton,” said Vinson, describing Fulton’s dedication to even the most menial tasks and the implicit trust invested in him by those he works with. “He was phenomenal.”
Upon receipt of a commemorative clock in recognition of his service, Fulton himself was succinct.
“I’m honored that you would want to honor me,” he said. “I did it because I love this community. My father died in this hospital, my wife died in this hospital, and it means an awful lot to me.”
Thursday’s reception honored those who donated $1,000 or more to Scotland Memorial Foundation in the last year. The group’s total membership this year reached 148, with total donations of $515,000.
Also recognized were 65 Skye Club members, who have donated a total of $25,000 ore more since Jan. 1, 2000 — including new inductees the Cooley family, Duke Cancer Network, Jersey Mike’s Subs, The Purcell Clinic, and Mr. and Mrs. Herk Sims, Jr.
“We say that they have achieved lifetime membership; theoretically, they don’t have to give anymore,” said Highland Society chairman Wayne Hobbs. “However, most members of the Skye Club continue to give generously year after year.”
This year’s new inductees to the Highland Society are: Charlotte Engineers LLP, William and Amy Harris, HCI Fire and Water Restoration, Pinehurst Surgical, Gail Brackett, Haynes and Gail Cain, Cascades, Alex and Lauren Cooley, Deutsche Bank, Benjamin and Margaret Dickerson, Michael and Lisa Eaves, David and Barbara Ellison, James and Carolyn Garrigus, Brian and Tammy Holloway, Bill and Beth Lindsay, Matthews and Megma LLC, Ben and Dorothy L. Matthews, Thomas and April Maynor, Nationwide Insurance-Glick and Hiller Agency, Pharmaceutical Strategies Group, and Bryan and Aikya S. Waldo.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.