By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – During the March 1 meeting of the Grapeland Noon Lions Club, club members welcomed and recognized Dick McNairy and Joe Tumalad, NP with the Grapeland Urgent Care facility.
Shortly after the meeting started, Lion Ben Childress introduced the two men and asked if McNairy would share his thoughts on the facility’s opening.
“We are really excited. This is an opportunity that was really created by Joe. Joe is the manager of one our urgent care facilities in Houston. We bought Joe’s company two years ago and when he was at the end of his contract, he said he was going to move to this area (East Texas) and said what about opening a center here because there may be a need in this area,” McNairy said.
McNairy explained he and Tumalad worked with Grapeland Economic Development Corporation board members C.L. McGill, Wayland Woolsey, Grapeland Mayor Balis Dailey and the leadership at Vulcraft to bring the idea to life.
“That arrangement basically allowed us to establish the Grapeland Urgent Care facility and today is our opening day (March 1). We opened this morning at 8 a.m. What has really been nice is that you guys (Lions) have helped us with the landscaping and you have agreed to help us with the open house (scheduled for March 24),” McNairy said.
McNairy said the company’s main operations were based in Houston and added “… we’ve actually staffed hospitals in southwest Houston and we’ve been involved in free standing ER centers and the urgent care center we have in Houston.”
As the meeting continued, Childress added April Bridges and James Brent should be extended a big thank you for their help in landscaping the urgent care facility.
Once the urgent care discussion concluded, Lions Club President Mike Goolsby informed club members he had been asked by First Vice-District Governor Lyle Meeker if the club would be interested in hosting a district cabinet meeting in July.
Goolsby said he informed Meeker the only issue he saw would be the lack of lodging facilities in the Grapeland area, with the closest hotels being 20 minutes away. Meeker assured him that would not be a hardship because when district meetings are held in Waco or Temple, the travel time from point A to point B is often greater than 20 minutes.
Following several minutes of discussion, the club agreed to host the July meeting.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.