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BD Alumni group makes bench purchase at Frankfort Square

November 22, 2018

The Becton Dickinson (BD Medical) Alumni group since 1982 has served as an outlet for more than 100 former business employees to gather and network on a bi-monthly basis through dinners and social outings.

Club President Arlys Wehrer estimates that approximately 150-200 people living in the greater Columbus community are members, with 70-plus attending bimonthly meetings.

Through the annual $12 dues fee, the organization recently was able to accomplish its goal of raising $750 to place a BD Alumni commemorative plaque on one of the numerous city-owned black benches that call Frankfort Square home. On Tuesday afternoon, more than a dozen former BD employees gathered at the square to recognize the accomplishment.

Several people making their way out under the sunny sky spent many years working together at the business in one capacity or another. Just like accomplishing work, this was something they were able to do through a unified team effort.

Wehrer said she started working at BD Medical in 1960 and officially retired in 1995. During her time with the company, she did a little bit of everything.

“I did some office work, some line work putting thermometers together, lots of stuff,” Wehrer said.

Others in attendance like group Treasurer Louise Stopak and Vice President Darlene Pickrel also spent many years inside of BD’s walls. Pickrel worked there from 1988-2011 and Stopak said she worked at the medical supply facility for 31 years before retiring from her trade in 1996.

Having the opportunity to come together with her former co-workers – who happen to be some of her very good friends – to have a bench recognize the group is very gratifying, she noted.

“I guess we kind of all figure that when we are all dead that they will have something to remember us by; ‘hey, there’s that bench that they bought!’” she said, with a laugh.

Becton Dickinson is a worldwide company that has Nebraska locations in Columbus, Broken Bow and Holdrege.

This is not the first time the alumni group has contributed dollars to a good cause. Several years ago, Wehrer said members purchased a segment of bricks at the Higgins Memorial located at Pawnee Park.

Group Secretary Dave Rinehart said that he’s always had a good time being a member of the BD Alumni organization.

“I really enjoy it. It’s just a good group of people and we have a lot of fun,” Rinehart said.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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