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Julie Simpson receives first Beam of Light Award

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Julie Simpson (left to right) with her son Micah, Suzanne Hensley and Donald Beam, husband of the late Gail Beam.

A dedicated nurse for more than 27 years and described as one who went above and beyond the call of duty at Fair Haven in Bostic is being recognized with an award in her memory.

Gail Beam, who passed away on November 4, 2019, worked at Fair Haven Bostic 27 years and rarely missed work, even after her diagnosis of cancer, said Donna Cromer, staff member at Fair Haven.

Fair Haven Bostic's Assistant Administrator Suzanne Hensley, who worked with Gail 27 years, established the Beam of Light Award to remember Gail's dedication to the residents and honor nurses of her caliber.

"She shared compassion and wisdom with us daily. Gail Beam was an outstanding employee who exhibited qualities far and beyond what was required," Suzanne said.

The Fair Haven Bostic staff was asked to nominate a person who best exemplified Gail's character to be the recipient of the first Beam of Light Award. Criteria included an employee who exemplified the same traits as Gail -- loyalty, generosity, goal driven, admired by residents and was emphatic.

The acronyms of Gail Beam's name describe her loyalty: generous and goal driven; admirable, intelligent, loving and loyal, beautiful and bold, empathetic, accepting and meticulous, explained Suzanne.

Nominations were placed in a ballot box and the awards committee made the decision for the first ever Gail Beam award to be presented to Julie Simpson, LPN.

Julie received the award during Fair Haven's annual Christmas staff party. Gail's husband Donald and Julie's son, Micah, were present for the brief ceremony.

"I was very humbled to have won this award but I have to give credit where credit is due and this is The Lord Jesus Christ's award. There is nothing good about me but The Lord Jesus Christ," Julie said.

Julie said she believes it's God's will that she has worked at Fair Haven the past 20 years.

"He's the only reason I am able to get out of bed everyday much less take on such an awesome responsibility. He loves and takes care of those patients through me. Some days are easier than others of course, but his Grace gets me through the really tough ones. I have been blessed in so many ways working at this facility, so many precious residents, their family members, and staff I have come to know and love over the years. I guess you could say I have grown up here, I have learned many life lessons in that building, some happy, some sad. So many sweet memories I will always have of Fair Haven, including hilarious moments with some of my favorite residents and staff. Fair Haven has been a wonderful place to work, they have been so good to me over the years. Owners, upper management, and different direct supervisors that I currently work with and have worked with in the past are phenomenal. Truly good people that I feel The Lord strategically placed to carry out his will."

The honor presented to Julie came with an "Aunt Gail Basket", designed to replicate the "themed" baskets that Gail designed and gave for Christmas gifts to her nieces and nephews when they were young. Julie also received a check for $500.

There were several employees nominated for the award and each received a gift. The award will be presented annually at the staff Christmas party.

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