Houston Hospice Set to Honor Over a Century of Combined Legacy During Spirit Award Dinner

James A. Reeder, Jr. and Eric Nevil are Honorees of the Laura Lee Blanton Community Spirit Award, Dr. Elizabeth Strauch is Honoree of The Heart of Hospice Service Award, and Anne Baillio is Honoree of The Heart of Hospice Volunteer Award

Houston Hospice today announced that James A. Reeder, Jr. (Jim) and Eric Nevil will be honored during its 24th Laura Lee Blanton Community Spirit Award Dinner, Thursday, October 20, 2022, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at River Oaks Country Club, 1600 River Oaks Blvd., Houston, Texas. Funds raised support Houston Hospice’s mission of providing quality hospice care to patients of all ages, ethnicities, or socio-economic status, irrespective of their ability to pay.

“The Reeder family’s 40 years of support for Houston Hospice’s patients and families is truly admirable,” said Co-Chair Jennifer Tuttle Arnold. “Jim and Eric continue the Reeder family’s legacy of generosity for Houston Hospice, and we are grateful to honor them with the Laura Lee Blanton Community Spirit Award,” continued Arnold. Reeder and Nevil have a special place in their hearts for Houston Hospice. Reeder’s late mother, Leone Guthrie Reeder, was an original board member of the New Age Hospice in 1982 and continued on the board when it became The Hospice at the Texas Medical Center. Reeder joined the board when his parents moved to Washington, D.C. in 1992 and stayed on through its merger with Houston Hospice. Reeder was chair when the Houston Hospice Inpatient Unit was built, which benefitted from a major gift from Leone and Jim Reeder Sr. in memory of each of their parents.  Reeder and Nevil were then on the receiving end of Houston Hospice’s care when first Leone passed away at the Inpatient Unit in 2010 and then Jim Sr. passed away at the Inpatient Unit 15 months later. By their example, Jim Sr. & Leone taught their family a powerful lesson on “dying well” and exemplified their belief that living does not end at the prospect of death.

“We are reluctant recipients of the Laura Lee Blanton Community Spirit Award,” Nevil explained. “Reluctant because we have never felt that what we do and contribute is extraordinary; it’s just what you do. And because we know that over the past 40 years, there are countless others who, through their commitment and generosity, like the Blanton family, are the true manifestation of community spirit that sustains Houston Hospice,” continued Nevil.

In addition, Houston Hospice will honor two exceptional leaders with over 64 years of service combined to provide compassionate care and comfort to countless families and their loved ones. Houston Hospice is proud to honor Dr. Elizabeth Strauch, Medical Director & Vice President of Medical Affairs, Houston Hospice, with The Heart of Hospice Service Award for providing quality care to hospice patients and families over the past 30 years. Anne Baillio, longtime volunteer, will be presented with The Heart of Hospice Volunteer Award for providing compassionate care to patients and their families over the past 34 years.

“We are deeply honored to be the recipients of this award,” Reeder adds. “Eric and I believe that the caregivers at Houston Hospice, like Betsy Strauch and Anne Baillio, are living saints. To be recognized with them, my parents, and the Blanton family is humbling. The great reward for us, however, has been our experience as just one of the tens of thousands of families to whom Houston Hospice has brought care and comfort during the most difficult chapter of life.”

“The 24th Spirit Award Dinner honors Jim Reeder, Eric Nevil, Dr. Elizabeth Strauch, and Anne Baillio, four remarkable community leaders who embody the spirit and compassion of Houston Hospice,” said Rana McClelland, President & CEO, Houston Hospice. “Houston Hospice is humbled by their 100+ years of collective dedication to helping patients and their families gain access to uncompromising, compassionate, end-of-life care,” continued McClelland.

Jennifer Tuttle Arnold, Susan Tuttle Lummis, and Emily Tuttle Wilde are this year’s event chairs and are planning a wonderful evening in celebration of Jim Reeder and Eric Nevil, Dr. Elizabeth Strauch, and Anne Baillio.

The Spirit Award is named in memory of Laura Lee Blanton, who gave tirelessly and had a selfless dedication to her family, to her community, and to her friends. For more information, please visit  www.houstonhospice.org/spiritaward2022/.