The Cooper-Wilkinson Endowment

The Cooper-Wilkinson Endowment; benefits lung, cancer and hospice services at Phoebe

It started with baseball

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 
 
It started with baseball and grew into a friendship that benefits many they will never know. 
 
Marvin Albert “Al” Wilkinson (1929-1999) was the only child of the late Marvin Cooper Wilkinson and Velma Carrie Watson. In his youth he was a pitcher with the New York Giants’ farm team and later on he traveled the country as a recruiting scout for the Cincinnati Reds.
 
Long after his ball days, Al Wilkinson could still be found at the ball field watching the game he loved. It was there, on the ball field that Al met David Drake, whose son Tim played for Albany High and American Legion baseball teams. They found they had a few things in common. They were both baseball fans and military veterans who took their loyalty to and love of country seriously.
 
At some point on that ball field David realized that his new acquaintance could use a little help and a little company. Emphysema and other medical problems had Al traveling to VA hospitals in Lake City, Gainesville and Atlanta. David took the wheel and for three years made the hospital rounds with Al.
 
Al Wilkinson died on March 13, 1999 and David Drake soon learned that Al had left him with one more duty – to use his remaining estate to “help others in need, especially with health problems.”
 
With the intent of doing the most good for the most people, David established a $250,000 endowment under the Cooper-Wilkinson family name. Those funds now benefit lung, cancer, and hospice services at Phoebe.
 
In recognition of the endowment, Room No. 9 (Al’s old baseball number) is named in Al Wilkinson’s honor at the Willson Hospice House.
 
In addition, the American flag at the Willson Hospice House now stands proudly in the Wilkinson Patriot Garden dedicated to veterans and their families.
 
David Drake made it possible for Al Wilkinson to be long remembered in the Albany community. The Cooper-Wilkinson Endowment will give others a chance for a better life and for peace and tranquility at the end of life.
 
Contributions to the Cooper-Wilkinson endowment, where funds are dedicated to services provided by Phoebe Hospice, for the treatment and research of cancer, and for the treatment and research of lung disease, may be made through Phoebe Foundation. For more information on how you can help others and get involved, please contact Phoebe Foundation at 229-312-GIVE.

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