(Asbury Park Press) POINT PLEASANT BEACH – Barbara Forfar dove into her work as a nurse with the same exhilaration that she dove into the ocean on a rare day off.
Her light-hearted approach with patients, which gave her the nickname “Foof,” and her drive to seek more knowledge is what her friends, family and former colleagues recall most when they think of Forfar, who died about a year ago.
Now they are preparing a benefit in her memory to raise money for a scholarship founded in her name that helps nurses and nursing students at her long-time employer, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, pay for formal nursing programs to further their medical eduction.
The Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund benefit is Sunday at the Elks Lodge in Point Pleasant Beach, where Forfar lived, said Walt Konopka, Forfar’s brother, who is organizing the benefit with his wife, Debbie.
“It continues a legacy of Barbara Forfar here at Ocean Medical Center as well as secures dollars to help nurses further their education,” said Regina Foley, vice president of nursing and hospital operations at Ocean Medical Center.
Forfar sought certification programs well before it was encouraged and became such an expert in medical technologies and the operating room that she was often called upon for advice, Foley said. She recalls her colleague as valuable and a great professional nurse, but also laughed thinking how much she loved the beach and scheduled her time off around the tide so she could go swimming in the ocean.
After Forfar, 65, passed away Jan. 15, 2011 from breathing complications, her friends and family established the scholarship fund in her memory, Konopka said.
The first scholarships were awarded last year — on Sept. 19, Forfar’s birthday — with money raised after her funeral, Konopka, said. Three nurses, Nancy Trione, Laurie Romano and Sigrid Alaan, received $500 each.
The upcoming benefit is to raise funds for the next scholarships, to be awarded this Sept. 19, Konopka said. How many $500 scholarships are awarded this year depends on how much is raised at the benefit, he said.
“We anticipate not even doubling, but maybe quadrupling funds this year, maybe giving us as much as $6,000. That’s our hope this year,” he said.