All for a good cause

Article Published: 05/03/2016

EHOVE Adult Career Center’s School of Practical Nursing celebrated 25 years of educating nurses in our region on April 26 with its first annual banquet and naming its first Nurse of the Year, Mike Marsh of Castalia. 

“Our 25th Anniversary Celebration came at just the right time to celebrate what nurses do!” said Janet Ballard, EHOVE Director of Allied Health Programs and Practical Nursing.  “This year we will have graduated over 1500 practical nurses, many who have gone on to Associate Degree RN, and Bachelor RN programs, and some continuing to work as LPN's,” said Ballard. “These individuals will touch so many and I am thrilled to be a part of that process, changing the lives of students, who will in turn impact the lives of patients.”

Ballard said it was a highlight to honor one of EHOVE’s graduates as Nurse of the Year.  Marsh left the manufacturing to become a nurse, graduating from EHOVE School of Practical Nursing in 2008. He translated his strong work ethic and dedication to the field of nursing. At Stein Hospice, he started as a case manager, assigned to veterans. His appreciation and connection to the veterans resulted in coordinating comfort care at end of life as well as honoring their military service. He has been active in Honor Flight and coordinated applications and actually flew with a veteran to the WWII memorial in Washington DC.

His co-worker, Beth Frank, who nominated him, states, "As Director of Nursing, he is always available including after hours and weekends.  Additionally, he makes himself available starting at 4 am, for any operation concerns.  He jumps in and helps cover in the field when there is a staffing need, and makes it a point to meet with each of his nursing staff on a regular basis.  His energy and efforts motivate nurses to be the best they can be."

The banquet honored Karen E. Holmes, a student in EHOVE’s part-time nursing program, and others who have lost their lives to domestic violence.  Proceeds from the banquet are still being totaled, and are still streaming in, including those from a silent auction featuring a wide variety of wonderful donations from area businesses.  At the time of this announcement, the total has just exceeded $3000.  Half of the final total will be donated to Safe Harbour Domestic Violence Shelter and the other half will establish the Karen E. Holmes Nursing Scholarship Fund for future EHOVE Nursing students.  This special scholarship will be awarded yearly and be selected based upon need, individual motivation and nursing career goals. 

Silent auction and cash donors included Duncan & Co Home Galleries, Schlessman Seed, Manny’s Restaurant, Mary’s Electrolysis, Miller’s Drive-In, The Golden Acorn, Kelly Graphics, Main St. Café, Jim’s Pizza Box, Schild’s IGA, Tranquility Salon & Spa, Gathering Grounds Coffeehouse, Costa Azul, The Olive Scene, Martinos International Café, Decidedly Different, Fatheads Family Restaurant, Mousie Mae’s and More, Home Sweet Home Pet Sitters, Sipes Hair Shop, Vista Care, Brummer’s Homemade Chocolates, Dewey Furniture, Swan Creek Candle Co., Sam’s Club, Maschari Bros., Advance Auto Parts, Crystal’s Treasure Box, Safe Harbour Domestic Violence Shelter, Pain & Pleasure Tattoo and Mary’s Blossom Shoppe, as well as a long list life of EHOVE staff members and individuals from the community.

“I am so grateful to EHOVE, Janet Ballard and Safe Harbour Domestic Violence shelter for providing this opportunity to pay tribute to Karen,” said Jessica Zufall, Karen’s sister.  “Her character, integrity, determination, and approach to the field or nursing exemplifies her desire to help and care for others.   Karen inspired the lives of so many and if you knew her, she truly made you a better person. We need more women like her.  Karen is described by friends as being admired for always wanting to take her education to the next level. It was important to her, even with what she was going through. Nothing was going to hold her back.”

“As a community, the event is important so we can help shed some light on the harsh reality of domestic violence,” said Zufall.   “It can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and it's not always obvious who the victims are.  That's how we can memorialize Karen and help support others that want to walk in her footsteps to become the nurse Karen dreamed of becoming.” 

Zufall said her goal is to get enough support to ensure the long term continuation of the scholarship so Karen Holmes can continue to touch the lives of others.  “I will forever hold Karen up not only as my sister but as an example of how good people can be,” she said.  “Her spirit will always live on through a legacy of love she imparted and what a great way to honor that legacy.”

Additional photos from the event are viewable with or without a Facebook account at