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St. Mary's founder unveiled as local legend

October 10, 2010
The name Sister Mary Balbina Farrell is very familiar to employees of St. Mary's Hospital. "She represents the dedication, persistence, and compassion we strive for in our daily work," says Sister Barbara Aldrich, vice president of Mission Integration. With the October 15 unveiling of the third piece in the Historic Sculptures: Legends of the Grand Valley public art project, visitors and area residents will have the opportunity to learn more about Sister Balbina Farrell, founder of the region's first hospital. Farrell and Sister Mary Louisa Madden traveled to the frontier town of Grand Junction in 1895 at the request of the local clergy. The sisters collected funds door to door to build the first St. Mary's Hospital, a 10-bed, wooden structure, which opened May 22, 1896, at 11th Street and Colorado Avenue. On the hospital's opening day, the local newspaper, The Daily Sentinel, expressed the community's gratitude: "Here, without distinction as to race, creed or color, the afflicted at all times may find a refuge." "This recognition of our founders' place in Grand Valley history and their contributions to the thriving community we know today is very gratifying," says Aldrich. Sister Mary Balbina Farrell Sculpture Unveiling Friday, October 15, 5:30 pm Northwest corner of 7th and Main Streets Historic Sculptures: Legends of the Grand Valley, 5 in 5 project, is an effort to preserve and showcase the stories of historically significant men and women who shaped our community. The Legends project adds one sculpture to downtown Grand Junction¹s Art on the Corner program each year, 2008 through 2012.