By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News
When Dolores Poulter (DP) Wilson attended the inaugural Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, there was no medical personnel on site. Today, the Emergency Medical Services Pavilion is named in her honor.
On Sunday, Nov. 5, Wilson, a professor of biology at Iowa Wesleyan University, was joined by family and friends for the ribbon cutting celebration of the Dolores Poulter Wilson Emergency Medical Services Pavilion.
?The first Old Threshers in 1950, does anyone remember that? Well, I was there and there was no medical presence at all,? she told the crowd that had filed into the pavilion.
Several years later, an ambulance would park on site. ?Then we were so excited for tents with fans in them,? Wilson said recounting the history of medical personnel at the reunion. ?Now look where we are today.?
Old Threshers CEO Terry McWilliams and Old Threshers Foundation President Todd Mabeus approached Wilson on June 7, 2017, to see if she?d be interested in donating money to help build an air-conditioned medical pavilion on the reunion grounds.
?I saw the plans and I said we had to have it ready for this reunion,? said Wilson. The reunion was merely 11 weeks away.
Old Threshers Foundation Executive Director Alan Huisinga got to work seeking donations from private individuals as well as service organizations within the area.
?That?s Old Threshers,? Wilson said pointing to the list of names on a plaque inside the medical building. ?It takes a community to make anything work.?
There were two names on the plaque that Wilson especially wanted to point out ? Poulter and Wilson. ?Most people probably don?t know about the Poulters or Wilsons,? she said. ?But anything good that has come out of my life has been because of the life lessons I?ve learned from the Poulters and the Wilsons.?
Dr. William Poulter, her first husband, taught her it was never too late to find your bliss. ?He gave up his profession at John Deere and came here to Mt. Pleasant and Iowa Wesleyan. He came for service and to design the Science Hall. He came to design a world class science program at Iowa Wesleyan,? she said.
Poulter was also the one who started her love affair with the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, as they came every year.
Wilson said her second husband, Bob Wilson, also lived a life of service as he was a chaplain.
Construction of the medical building was completed in late August and the pavilion was opened in time for the 2017 Midwest Old Threshers Reunion.
?Moms were able to go into the bathroom and change their babies and old people were able to stay on the grounds instead of going to the ER,? Wilson said. ?That is a big part of our success; making people feel comfortable and making them feel like family.?
McWilliams said transfers to the ER were down significantly this year and that?s all thanks to the medical buildings. ?The heat is a big factor for our older crowd. We now have two sites that are air-conditioned and so (guests) are able to get the care needed and continue on.?
McWilliams said the pavilion was named in honor of Wilson as she became a major donor early on in the project. He added he was thankful for all of the donors as they helped meet Wilson?s goal of having the doors open by the start of the reunion.
Before heading outside for the ribbon cutting, Wilson left her guests with one last thought. ?You have made my day far beyond anything I could have imagined.?