Those who knew Georgianna Hall (known to many as Georgi) would have no problem telling anyone who asked that she was one of the most generous and caring people they had ever met.
Georgianna's son Ryan spoke of a woman who would lend a helping hand to anyone in need and throughout her lifetime did exactly that. She worked as a Centreville Bank teller and customer service representative at both the West Warwick and West Greenwich locations, where customers would always seek her out personally to do their banking.
"She would always take the extra time with people and never made them feel any lesser for it," said Ryan. "She was always thinking about everybody else and was never selfish."
As the mother of two Eagle Scouts, Georgi and her husband of 37 years, Harry, were heavily involved in scouting, Georgi as a Den Leader Coach and a Den Mother with Pack 39 Summit and Harry as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 39 Summit since 1990. Ryan and his brother Evan both spent time working at Camp Yawgoog in Hope Valley and the entire family knew the importance of scouting and the positive effect it has on those who participate.
"My mom would hear of a neighbor or local kid that couldn't afford camp and would call pretending to be the parent and pay for the kid to go." said Ryan. "She helped out whenever she could, but always did it quietly because she thought it was just the right thing to do."
Georgianna had been fighting the chronic lung disease COPD for close to 10 years when she was transferred from Kent County Hospital to an acute respiratory rehabilitation center in Massachusetts. Ryan would travel almost daily from Johnston to Greene to bring his grandparents to see Georgi in the hospital then back again and eventually left his job to make sure she was taken care of.
He and his fiancee' Katie created "Hi, My name is Georgi - what's your name?" posters around Georgi's hospital room complete with lists of her favorite television channels, her interests and topics for visitors to talk to her about including her dog and the time she got to meet one of her favorite TV chefs, Tyler Florence.
"We wanted to create a 'decorative dossier'," said Ryan. "The next time someone came in her room, within five minutes they were asking her about Tyler Florence," he said.
Sadly, Georgianna lost her 10-year battle in March of 2010 and an estimated 1,050-1,200 people attended her service.
"We went over our time at the funeral home and some people waited over three hours in line," said Ryan.
In the days after Georgi's passing, Ryan and his family were approached many times asking where donations could be made in memoriam. It was then that they decided to create "The Georgianna Hall Memorial Trust" and with the help of their friend, Katie McCarten and several others they made it happen.
In August of last year they awarded the first scholarship to Jeff Jackson, a student at the Community College of Rhode Island, member of the Rhode Island National Guard and veteran of the Yawgoog staff.
Scholarship applicants need to be recognized by a key staff representative or Camp Director at Yawgoog and have a great work ethic and character.
"This scholarship is for the person that does their job with a smile on their face and treats people with that same smile," said Ryan. "Camp work can be tough sometimes."
Ryan says they plan to award a $1,000 scholarship this year and maybe even two next year. He also hopes to start a hospital outreach program in which he and other volunteers would visit the families of patients, create personalized posters with them as he did for Georgi and gently get families acclimated to the hospital setting.
His biggest goal is to eventually build and establish a rehabilitation hospital in RI so families will not have to travel so far and give up so much to care for a loved one.
"It is a great idea for something that we don't have but really need in the state," said Ryan.
Donations can be sent to:
The Georgianna Hall Memorial Trust
228 Camp Westwood Rd.
Greene, RI 02827
The Georgianna Hall Memorial Trust can also be found on Facebook.
The Trust is also looking for someone to design a website for their cause, if interested please respond to Ryan Hall directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.