Good News Story: Pee Wee Dedicates & Donates

A selfless heart has no time limits nor borders. Pee Wee has been volunteering at her local hospital for 61 years. She then gives them a gift you won’t see coming. Listen here to this inspiring story!


Good News Story: Pee Wee Dedicates & Donates

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Philisee “Pee Wee” Massa remembers the day when she and her husband, Leo, made the move from Kansas City to Kankakee.

“It was 1951, and the Welcome Wagon came by. And next, I wound up joining the Newcomers Club that we used to have,” she recalled this morning. “Later, Mother St. Claire [a member of the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, who were administrators of St. Mary’s Hospital] came and asked me to help start a women’s auxiliary.

“And I did. And I was one of the first officers.”

Through the decades that followed Massa was maybe best known for her talents on the golf course, but she never lost her connection with the hospital, which is now known as Presence St. Mary’s. And that fact was made very clear Wednesday at a dinner in her honor at the Kankakee Country Club.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of a $1 million check.

“Pee Wee has not only blessed St. Mary’s with her gracious donations to our hospital, but [those gifts] have also touched the lives of many people in our community,” said hospital president and CEO Amy LaFine.

“The generosity that she has shown throughout her years with us ranges from countless volunteer hours to monetary donations for hospital advancements and other worthy causes. We are truly honored that she has entrusted St. Mary’s with this extraordinary gift.”

For 61 years, Massa has volunteered at the hospital’s in-house gift shop and free-standing resale shop. Even with her other commitments, she contributed more than 12,951 hours of service.

According to a hospital release, Massa’s $1-million gift will be used to enhance technology for cardiac services.