Fred and Rose at their 50th wedding anniversary this summer.  Fred and Rose Lammers at Rose’s usual post in the main lobby at Alton Memorial Hospital, where she works as a volunteer.ALTON – When Fred and Rose Lammers’ children tried to plan a “surprise” 50th wedding anniversary party for their parents this summer, they made one mistake – asking their mother for her address book. But that “mistake” turned into a great blessing – to the tune of more than $16,000 for Alton Memorial Health Services Foundation.

“I knew something must be up when our daughters asked for the book!” said Rose, a longtime volunteer for Alton Memorial Hospital’s White Cross Auxiliary.

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Once the surprise was out, Rose and Fred had one request of their daughters -- no gifts! However, they had another idea.

Fred and Rose attended the AMHSF Ribbon of Strength event in March of this year. The event is a fundraiser for patients who are receiving cancer treatments at Alton Memorial. The couple purchased “ribbons” in memory of their family members – both of Rose’s parents and one of Fred’s parents died from cancer. The idea was that, in lieu of gifts, their anniversary party guests should make donations to AMHSF.

The couple’s two daughters, Jen Cobbel and Jess Catlett, ended up throwing a wonderful 50th anniversary event. Jen worked with the Foundation staff to supply business reply envelopes with the party invitations and QR codes were available to scan at the party, linking guests to the Foundation’s donation page on the AMHSF website.

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“We had no idea how well it would do,” Rose said. “We thought a few people might give $20 or $25. We didn’t expect anything like this.”

“This” was Alton Memorial Health Services Foundation receiving more than $1,000 in checks and online giving from the couple’s friends and family. But that wasn’t all. A few weeks after the party, the Foundation received a check for $15,000 from a foundation in Lake Geneva, Wis. -- a gift to the Foundation from Fred and Rose’s nieces. It was a wonderful surprise to all involved.

Fred and Rose were introduced when Rose took a part-time job at Fred’s family’s flower shop, Lammers Floral, back in the early 1970s. The couple married on July 14, 1973, at Main Street Methodist Church in Alton.

The Foundation is grateful to Fred and Rose for their continued support of Alton Memorial Hospital and the patients it serves. The legacy of the Lammers family goes way back when it comes to their connection to Alton Memorial. Fred’s mother, Annamae Lammers, was a longtime volunteer at AMH and knew Eunice Smith, whose family donated the land that Alton Memorial was built on in the 1930s.

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