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Stories That Move You.

Merry Marys

Back row – left to right: The Virgin Mary, Mary Poppins, Mary Kay, Sister Mary Margaret, Mary Ingalls, Mary Tyler Moore, Merry Christmas, Mary (Maria) vonTrapp. Front row left to right: Mary Jane candy, Mary Catherine Gallagher (Saturday Night Live), Mary Ann Summers (Gilligan’s Island), Mary Free Bed colors, A little lamb……..which belongs to Mary.

Back row – left to right: The Virgin Mary, Mary Poppins, Mary Kay, Sister Mary Margaret, Mary Ingalls, Mary Tyler Moore, Merry Christmas, Mary (Maria) VonTrapp. Front row left to right: Mary Jane candy, Mary Catherine Gallagher (Saturday Night Live), Mary Ann Summers (Gilligan’s Island), Mary Free Bed colors, A little lamb……..which belongs to Mary.

There was not a contrary Mary in the lot. Even Mary’s little lamb behaved during this year’s Halloween shenanigans. As you can see, the pediatric team dressed up as their favorite Marys.

There’s something about Mary that has been a beloved part of our history for more than 122 years. In 1891, a small group of progressive Grand Rapids women embarked on a fundraising campaign to help people who couldn’t afford health care. They passed a purse and asked that anyone named Mary, or anyone who knew someone named Mary, donate a dime. Mary was the most common female name at the time, so the purse ploy proved profitable. A “free” bed was endowed in a local hospital, and it became known as “the Mary free bed.”

Fast forward to 2013… People have a choice about where to receive rehabilitation services. The many options and sevices available can make your head spin. Plus, Mary Free Bed is an unusual name for a hospital ~ one not easily remembered. But what about, simply “Ask For Mary”? That works. If you need rehabilitation, all you need to do is Ask For Mary… just like this gaggle of Marys.

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