Mary Ann Welsh is the proud mother of five men, but only rarely does she get to see them and their families all at one time. One of those rare occasions was this past New Year’s when they all came together to celebrate the 50th birthday of her second son, Michael, who lives in Wisconsin.
“He got every single one of them to come down and bring their family,” said Mary Ann, who has been volunteering at Atlantic General since 2000. “He told me months ago that he was going to do this and raise money for ‘my hospital,’ that’s what he calls it.”
So, the Welsh family got together, renting a penthouse at the Capri in Ocean City, to celebrate a late Christmas and Michael’s birthday on December 27 and to form Team Welsh in preparation for Atlantic General Hospital’s 17th Annual Penguin Swim.
“On New Year’s Eve, my daughter-in-law called from Wisconsin to tell me that Michael’s friends had collected $150 for Team Welsh,” Mary Ann said.
She had told all his friends not to buy Michael any birthday gifts – no shirts with goofy 50th birthday messages or anything like that – instead to give money to Team Welsh.
All told, the team raised close to $600 for the Penguin Swim, putting the $98,759 total raised within reach for the Foundation.
Mary Ann walked down on the sand to watch her children and grandchildren fly into the ocean.
“I got my toe wet through my shoe, but that doesn’t count,” she said. “I think they’re all a little crazy, to be honest. But I’m thinking it will become a tradition now from the way they are talking.”
If it will bring all her children together and help support “her hospital,” Mary Ann is all for it.
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