Fifty years ago, Long Island native, Judith I. “Judi” Betts, joined the Mather Hospital Auxiliary, and she says that for her, “It was love at first sight. I immediately adored the hospital, the culture, and the genuine feeling of being part of a family at Mather.” While serving as Auxiliary Vice President, she decided to join the One Enchanted Evening Gala committee, and that decision would change her life forever. It was on the OEE committee that she met her late husband, Earle F. Betts, who along with Jeannie Lyon, had been the committee’s co-chair for more than 15 years. Earle’s first wife passed away in 1979, and it was with the help of some mutual Mather friends that Judi and Earle began dating in 1980.
On October 16, 1982, Earle proposed to Judi on the Mather Hospital campus, while Mather broke ground for a new addition. Then surrounded by family and their friends from Mather, they were married on December 5, 1982 – culminating the love story of two people brought together by their love of their community and desire to help others. Earle served as vice chairman emeritus for the Hospital and lived his life for his family, his community, and for Mather, until his passing on May 23, 2002.
Leaving a “Betts Legacy to Mather Hospital” is so important to Judi, that she has arranged a bequest in her Will. “Mather has been an integral part of my life in many ways. In 1975 I was hit by a drunk driver, and I was in the Hospital for a month. I had multiple surgeries; they literally saved my life. I love being part of the Mather family. Their care and concern for their patients is beyond bounds. I am also immensely proud of the fact that Mather Hospital has been run in such a magnificent way for the past 40 years by Mr. Kenneth Roberts, and has been recognized as one of the top hospitals in New York State for a long time.” Judi’s love for Mather has only gotten stronger over these past 50 years. She is thrilled that, even though many changes that have taken place during that time, one thing remains the same, the feeling of COMMUNITY in every corner of the Hospital.
Almost five years ago, Mather Hospital joined Northwell Health, and Judi is so happy that together, Mather Hospital Board under the direction of Kenneth Roberts and Kevin McGeachy, and the President & CEO of Northwell Health, Michael J. Dowling, have maintained the feeling of community that makes Mather Hospital a family.
This past October 2021, Judi held a gathering at her home in Port Jefferson, to raise money for the Suffolk County Council Boy Scouts of America, and the Mather Hospital Explorers program, for which Michael Dowling helped her raise $50,000, solidifying her love and belief in this Mather Hospital Northwell Health family.
Judi encourages others to support Mather Hospital by saying, “You do not have to be a millionaire to give back to your community; because as long as such a gift comes from your heart it will help ensure that this great organization continues to serve our community for generations to come.”