AWARE ENOUGH TO CAREPublished 7:00am Wednesday, June 4, 2014 Updated 9:17am Friday, May 30, 2014
This article first appeared in the Spring 2014 edition of our In Good Company magazine. For more articles visit our In Good Company website.
Article by Margie Gettle Photography Meagan Elling
It started with a nagging thought; one that kept popping into her head over a period of several weeks. Tammy Anderson, Director of Lakeland Hospice Foundation, kept dismissing it. After all, she didn’t know his widow and writing a letter to her just seemed sort of weird. But after friends and acquaintances sent numerous links to websites and newspaper articles about the passing of Baseball Hall of Famer, beloved Minnesota Twin player, and Hospice Volunteer and Advocate Harmon Killebrew, she looked up at God and said, “Ok…I get it. I’ll write to her.” That effort to reach out, to send her sympathies to Nita Killebrew set the stage for what has become huge community strength for Hospice Awareness.
“I wrote a sympathy card to Nita, and never really expected a reply from her,” said Anderson, “but when I received a note from her thanking me for thinking of Harmon and for my work with the Hospice Foundation, I knew bigger, better things were in store.” The reply motivated Tammy to create and develop the “Harmon Killebrew Hospice Day at Target Field” event, which broke a single group attendance record at Target Field, increased community and state awareness of hospice care and earned Lakeland Hospice/LB Homes the prestigious “2014 Community Impact Award” by Aging Services of Minnesota.
Being resourceful and making things happen isn’t foreign to Anderson. A graduate of St. Cloud State University, Tammy’s Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education fueled her passion for young children. She served as the Director of Children’s Corner for 16 years and solidly established her role as a proficient advocate for child care initiatives. From fundraising to grass root efforts to establish legislative changes benefiting child care centers and providers, Anderson became that needed voice to get things moving. Children’s Corner and its younger counterpart, The Baby Corner, are successful centers greatly because of the foundation she established and directed.
In 2007, Tammy accepted the position of Director of Lakeland Hospice Foundation. In addition to heading the development and organization of the Harmon Killebrew event, Anderson organizes the annual Lakeland Hospice Motorcycle Ride. She convinced her husband of 24 years, Dean, to purchase a motorcycle so they would be fully immersed and “all in” for the event. She is so “in” that she was given her own biker chick name, “Fenderfluff.”
Anderson isn’t only about work. A busy mother of three (children are married daughter, Meagan, and sons Evan and Nathan) Tammy enjoys the great outdoors and camping with her family at State Parks in Minnesota. Her goal was to fill her State Park Passport with a stamp from every park. She accomplished that and decided to visit each park a second time because it was so much fun the first time around. She carries her camera and enjoys capturing photos of wildlife and scenery. Christmas is her favorite time of year and she celebrates it year round by playing and singing Christmas music constantly to the delight of her co-workers, family and friends. And she loves to draw and color – a creative artistic tendency that has served as a definite strength for her role as a children’s advocate. She enjoys writing children’s stories and would like to publish a few in the future. Tammy is involved with her church and is an active member of the Fergus Fall Kiwanis Club. She is a Past President of the organization whose motto is “Children – Priority One.” She lives a life of true stewardship for God, her family and her community and views each day as an opportunity to serve.
As Anderson gears up for the second annual “Harmon Killebrew Hospice Day at Target Field” event on August 16th, she is looking most forward to spreading the word about Lakeland Hospice and the impact this event has on education and awareness. Tammy’s hope is that “each family can experience the gentle care of hospice, where not one single family ever says they didn’t know hospice care was available or wish they had called sooner. “ With Tammy in the batter’s box, Hospice Awareness is assured a big win.