Ruth Gorlick is 84, and she figures it's time, after 19 years, to give up the title of secretary-treasurer of the Pickett Scovil Memorial Fund.
“I was an ACW member and I think somebody just twisted my arm,” she said of her recruitment to the position.
"It’s been a real blessing to me to be able to serve in this way. I hope the next secretary-treasurer will be as blessed as I was.”
Ruth retired in June, and Jill Stewart takes her place.
The fund, administered by the ACW, exists to assist clergy and their spouses, active and retired, in times of illness. It was created in 1909 by Lucy Vail Pickett.
“She had a real vision,” Ruth said of Lucy. “She was concerned about clergy and she set it up.”
The fund stood at $170 as of Dec. 31, 1910. Today it’s worth $424,359. Some of that increase is due to wise investing, and some is due to the generosity of one donor, the Rev. Royden Ferris.
“He was helped out once by the fund, and when he died, he left $80,000 to the fund,” said Ruth.
With the advent of medicare, the fund is used more and more for items like hearing aids and dental bills. Last year the fund approved 26 grants with a total value of $15,848.40.
The secretary-treasurer meets with the committee of two others each quarter and reviews the applications. Most of the applicants are retired clergy, spouses and widows, since active clergy have an extended health plan as part of their benefits. The grants cover up to 70 per cent of the cost of the item or procedure.
“It’s a wonderful gift to retired clergy,” said Ruth. “It’s there for you. You’re entitled to it.”
Applications and information are available on the diocesan website: anglican.nb.ca