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The call went out for a new piano, and in short order, not one but two were found.

At a recent conference call with veterans’ service organizations, Michael Dobbs, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System volunteer services chief, informed members of the need for a piano at the Eugene Towbin VA Healthcare Center at North Little Rock, which is used by veterans from the Pine Bluff area.

The older piano being used in the facility’s dining room was no longer tunable. Mary Ellen Laursen, state veterans chair and volunteer services representative for the United States Daughters of 1812, volunteered to publicize the need to secure a donated piano. Within weeks, Laursen had acquired the needed piano, and another is to be delivered to the medical center, according to a news release.

“The pianos provide much more than just entertainment for the veterans,” according to the release. “Music can inspire and entertain, but it also has powerful psychological effects that can improve health and well-being. Music can relax the mind, energize the body, and even help people better manage pain.”

The pianos were donated by Mr. and Mrs. John Dixon and the Diamante Country Club. Laursen and her husband, Glenn, provided for the transportation costs.

“A tremendous thank you to USD 1812 members, the Laursens, Dixons, Tatums, Sheila Beatty and the Diamante Country Club for your continuous support,” Dobbs said. “Thanks for supporting veterans. They will enjoy the music and entertainment. The work you ladies do outside of [the health care system] is remarkable and appreciated. Mary Ellen Laursen, I thank you for your support of moving the pianos and for all you did in support of finding the source for a donation and the coordination of the pick-up and delivery. I love working with your group and appreciate your time and efforts.”

Several organizations assisting veterans have members who meet in Pine Bluff. These include the National Society Colonial Dames 17th Century, which has four Arkansas chapters. The Pine Bluff chapter meets at the Pine Bluff Country Club with the United States Daughters of 1812 and the Daughters of Colonial Wars, according to previous news releases.

Print Headline: Veterans facility sees need for new piano, ends up with 2


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