TUPELO – Good Samaritan Free Clinic supporters Dr. Gene and Margaret Anne Murphey took some good-natured ribbing over their 62 years in Tupelo on Tuesday.
The Tupelo couple, who are still working for the community decades after most people retire, were toasted and teased at the 10th annual roast for the Antone Tannehill Good Samaritan Free Clinic.
As of Tuesday night, the roast had raised nearly $93,000 for the clinic, which is in its 20th year of serving working Lee County residents who can’t afford health insurance.
“It’s no surprise it’s a record-breaking fundraiser,” said longtime friend Jack Reed Sr., given Margaret Anne Murphey’s reputation as a persistent fundraiser for groups like the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra, which she serves as executive director.
Dr. Gene Murphey was among the first volunteers for clinic founder, the late Dr. Antone Tannehill, and both Murpheys have been longtime advocates for the clinic.
“They’re the perfect example of good Samaritans,” said their son Dr. Steven Murphey, a Hattiesburg radiologist, as he ended his roast. “They do things to help others without expectation of rewards; everything they do is for the good of the community.”
Before the roast, Dr. Murphey said he wasn’t worried about taking a few hits for the clinic that has helped thousands.
“Antone Tannehill started it, and we helped out as much as we could,” Dr. Murphey said.
AT TUESDAY’S ROAST, Good Samaritan board chairwoman Nancy Diffee announced the event will now honor Tommie and the late Dr. Walter Bourland, who were among the clinic’s earliest supporters. Dr. Bourland, an obstetrician-gynecologist was among the original volunteer physicians and served as the clinic’s second medical director.