A reception was held Tuesday at Regional One Health in the midtown medical district for several dozen Elvis fans who have funded through the years the only free-standing building in the world with Elvis' name on it - Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center.
"Ironically he was in my music class and we were in the same music class together and North Memphis was a very tough place at that time," recalled George Klein, close friend of Elvis. "I used to kid that our trophy case at Humes High School we never won hardly any trophies except for boxing we won city championship five years in a row."
What better person to come speak to the loyal Elvis fans who not only come to Memphis for Elvis Week every year but all of these fans contribute money to the state-of-the-art Elvis Presley Trauma Center to keep it running since it was built in 1983.
It's a project that Klein says his best friend Elvis would have really supported.
"He would have probably donated a lot of money to get it started had he been alive when they built this wonderful hospital," Klein said. "But I think it's in the right place. The heart is there."
"He always looked after the little people and people who may not have been able to always take care of themselves," added Dr. Martin Croce. "He was very loyal, a very loyal man and we try to take those attributes in how we take care of patients at the trauma center."
It is that same kind of loyalty that Elvis fans have shown in supporting the work done here at the trauma center.
"I was first amazed at the people from all around the world that come for Elvis Week and then to see them come to the hospital to see and touch and feel and to see what the Elvis Presley Trauma Center is doing in the community," said Dr. Reginald Coopwood. "When you see in the hospital the long wall full of contributors with plaques from all over the world and the people come to see their plaques and see the center."
Here's how you get up on the Elvis Presley Trauma Center Honor Wall. You simply send in your $1,000 check. At least $1,000 and then your name goes up on the wall. Several people's names are on the honor wall after donating to the center of the years. Guess you can keep donating to the center year after year if you want to, and many people do.
It does not go unnoticed by the staff at the trauma center.
"The fans are amazing and the turnout that we have every year during Elvis Week is amazing and very dedicated to the institution," Dr. Croce said.
That is probably the part that is the coolest; Elvis fans picking up where Elvis left off and taking care of the little guy.