‘A big smile is shining down’

Published 3:00 am Friday, October 28, 2016

Jim Roling's granddaughter, Rosa Sklar released a balloon in his honor.

Jim Roling’s granddaughter, Rosa Sklar released a balloon in his honor.

Three hundred yellow balloons were released Thursday afternoon with one balloon at the heart of them all.

Pike Medical Foundation board members encircled the large gathering of Troy Regional Medical Center supporters at the 2016 Balloon Launch but minus one of it founding members, Jim Roling.

“But I see a big smile shining down on us today,” said Mary Ida Williams board member. “Jim would be so proud of all the work of the people here today representing the hospital, the foundation, the Rotary Club, all coming together for such a wonderful cause.”

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Williams said the late Jim Roling was Troy through and through his entire lifetime.

“Jim strived to serve this community and this hospital. He didn’t want recognition but today we are here saying thank you to him for all that he did for Troy and this hospital, for all that he did to keep Troy Regional Medical Center a vital part of this community.”

Williams presented a plaque to Angie Roling in appreciation for all her husband did in support of the hospital and town he loved.

Roling’s granddaughter, Rosa Sklar, released one balloon in memory of Roling. Following that one balloon into the sky were 300 balloons that were released in support of TRMC and the hospital’s emergency room area. The balloon tickets were sold for $100 each.

This was the third year for the Balloon Launch. The first balloon launch raised $20,000 and the second launch raised $28,000.

Ronnie Dean, TRMC chief executive officer, said sometimes hospitals need help and the Troy and Pike County communities have always stepped up to the plate. “The Balloon Launch has taken a lot of energy and effort on the part of the hospital, the foundation and many volunteers. Everyone rolled up their sleeves and rallied the community,” he said.

Dr. Eric Law, TRMC chief of staff, also thanked the TRMC community for its support. “Troy is not real estate,” he said. “It’s people. People are our foundation and we greatly appreciate the support of the people.”