Lance's Journal: The St. E's Sign Man, July 29

Dean Wright is not the stork, but he's the next best thing. The 78-year-old doesn't deliver the babies, but he does deliver the yard signs that allows proud parents to announce to the world that they have a new addition to their family. Dean is the "sign man" at St. Elizabeth's Hospital and he's quite proud of it.

Just like clockwork each week, Dean comes rolling into St. E's with a fresh batch of baby signs. Dean started volunteering in 1998 when he became "semi-retired" from the Lincoln construction company he founded 42 years ago, "I've got plenty of time to do this. I don't have much to do since I'm pretty much retired so this is a great job, I enjoy it!

As the volunteer services coordinator, Becky Wright got her father in law started as the sign man, "I think he's really enjoying it. I think it surprises him how much he enjoyed it, everybody in the halls is always excited to see him come and say 'Hi Dean' and that kind of thing."

The Crete native has always enjoyed working with his hands, so this job has been a perfect fit. Dean says that over the past 11 years he's made almost 30,000 signs and he's used almost a half a million staples, "In a small way it feels like you're doing a part to help as a volunteer up there and I'm a small number of the volunteers there's over 600 of them and they all love what they're doing and so do I."

With an average of 3,000 babies born every year at St. Elizabeth's Dean stays pretty busy.


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