Foundation thanks community for surpassing milestone

WOW! We’ve surpassed another milestone at the Foundation at West River Health Services – over $925,000 raised in the last 21 months!

By TED UECKER
WRHS Foundation

WOW! We’ve surpassed another milestone at the Foundation at West River Health Services – over $925,000 raised in the last 21 months! Since we last visited back in January, we have raised another $75,000; with most of that being attributed to our “Mott Area Matching Challenge” to renovate our WRHS Mott Clinic and our “One Room At a Time Together” Campaign to renovate 42 resident rooms at our Western Horizons Care Center. No doubt we will let you know when we surpass $1 million!

Of course, most all of the credit for this sensational fundraising goes out to YOU – our area community supporters throughout Western Dakota and across the entire United States! Without your amazing giving spirit and belief in the importance of top-notch healthcare in rural western Dakota, we would not be making nearly the progress we are. We have stayed true to our mission of providing fundraising and development services for West River Health Services and Western Horizons Living Centers as they provide comprehensive health and wellness services for the residents and visitors of the region. In addition, we have developed three key principals at the Foundation: 1) we want to build “Partnerships for the Future” with area businesses, organizations and families – where it’s a two-way street, with both of us helping each other, 2) we want to reach out and participate with our area communities, and 3) we never tell people how much to give. We believe that every gift is important, no matter the amount; rather it’s the commitment shown to our future that matters the most.

West River Health Services was built upon the premise that “rural people deserve the same top-quality healthcare as their urban counterparts.” We have not forgotten this and we strive every day to provide amazing healthcare services to our area communities. Our top 2 strengths of sensational top-quality teamwork care and state-of-the-art equipment and technology ring out loud and clear. We are a forward moving vehicle who does not accept the status quo – we’re always pushing the envelope to improve our rural healthcare services.

In early February we rolled out our “One Room At a Time Together” Campaign to try and raise $145,500 to renovate 42 individual resident rooms at our Western Horizons Care Center. Our renovations include new flooring, new painting, new lighting, new furniture, new decorations, even new sinks and toilets for each resident’s room! Although our Care Center has recently been awarded a 5-Star Rating, we must improve our facility itself into the 21st Century! So far in less than three months, we have raised almost $114,000, which leaves us only $31,500 short of our goal. The WRHS Foundation Board of Directors stepped up big-time, declaring a $25,000 gift to jump-start the campaign. Soon after, numerous entities joined the campaign with gifts of $500 or more, including many businesses (Farmers Union Insurance, Uecker Yards, RZ Motors, West River Veterinary Clinic, Lodgepole Store, West River Cooperative Telephone Co., C & N Café, and Grand Electric Cooperative); a few organizations (Hettinger City Council, Reeder Lions Club, National Mutual Benefit) and numerous families (Dr. Josh & Dr. Carrie Ranum, Magnus & Grace Meier, Ted & Sheri Uecker, Duey Marthaller Family, Chuck & Jan Defoe, Alan & Kaye McIntyre, Kaylene Erlenbush Family, Dr. Roger & Janet Schauer, Matt & Katie Shahan, Dr. Mark & Lanae Kristy, Dale Schoeder Family, Lawrence & Clementine Urlacher, Steve & Nola Parker/Charlotte Cornella, Dr. Gerald & Jan Sailer, Rich & Jennifer Jahner, Delores Thormodsgard Family, Lynn Green, Bob & Gayla Parker, Dr. Cathy Houle & Todd Shirek, Dennis & Dava Rustan, Betty Svihovec, Nan Nash, Tami Uecker-Ohman, Jodi Uecker, Bobbi Uecker-Ringling, Susan Uecker-Shulman and Heather Zimmerman). In addition to these amazing gifts, we have also received numerous gifts from $1 to $499, which we are also most grateful for. Plus, many of our employees at WRHS take anywhere from a $1 to $106 payroll deduction from each of their bi-monthly work checks to support this campaign. There’s no doubt that lots of people are doing their part to improve Western Horizons. If you’d like to join this worthy cause, please contact Ted at 701-567-3666. He’ll be happy to meet with you – most anyplace, anytime.

In addition to improvements at the Care Center, we also have been working diligently to raise funds for our WRHS Mott Clinic. Our “Mott Area Matching Challenge” began due to one Anonymous person’s $10,000 gift to WRHS to improve our Mott Clinic. WRHS added $5,000 to the gift and two of the patient exam rooms at the Mott Clinic have been renovated into the 21st Century. They look awesome! A few months later, this same Anonymous resident offered us another $5,000; if we could raise $7,500. We took the half matching challenge and went to Mott. The citizens of the Mott area answered the call – to date, we have raised $33,800 from 87 gifts! So not only will we be able to renovate the remaining two patient exam rooms at the WRHS Mott Clinic, but we will invest around $14-18,000 into further improvements at our Mott Clinic. We are keeping our word that every cent donated toward this campaign goes directly into the Mott Clinic, nowhere else. Again, we had numerous entities get behind this campaign with gifts over $200, including many businesses (Good Samaritan Society, Wilbur-Ellis, Mott Equity Exchange, Commercial Bank of Mott, Eido Printing, Mott Bus Service, Farm Credit services of Mandan, Hettinger-Sioux County Abstractors Inc.), many organizations (Mott City Council, Mott Volunteer Fire Brigade, Mott Ambulance Service, Mott Lions Club, Trinity Lutheran Church) and numerous families (Anonymous, August & Lucille Kirschemann, Dr. Mark & Lanae Kristy, Dr. Tracy Boschee, Donald Schaible, Charles & Tina Miller, David Glaser, Robert & Laura Larson, Leo & Janelle Brackel, Norma Heidt, Eugene & Annette Steiner, Ted & Sheri Uecker, Roger & Karen Brackel, Bohn Family, Howard & Alice Steiner). Of course, we also had numerous gifts ranging from $15 to $125 as well, which we appreciate just as much. Special thanks to Mark Resner, Aryn Dangerud, Troy Mosbrucker and the Mott City Council, the amazing Anonymous donor, and the Mott Playhouse Theatre for helping us spearhead this campaign. We cannot thank the entire Mott area community enough. They have risen to the challenge beyond our wildest dreams. Once we have the renovations completed, we will invite you all to witness the results at your WRHS Mott Clinic.

On March 5, 10 West River-ites (including new CEO Matt Shahan and his wife Katie, Dr. John & Gina Joyce, Dennis & Christina Maier, Mike & Michelle Steen, Ted & Sheri Uecker) attended Southwest Healthcare’s largest fundraiser of the year, the “Celebrity Waiter Dinner,” for the second year in a row. We joined ten employees from Dakota Community Bank in Bowman and attended with a “Bridging Communities” theme, dressed as construction workers with hard hats and all the extras. It was once again a terrific fundraiser for Southwest, raising $70,000 gross from ticket sales, live and silent auctions. Our Foundation gifted a portable grill, table and grilling utensils for a silent auction item; plus most of our people participated in the live and silent auctions. We are making headway in forging new relationships and strengthening existing friendships at Southwest. The future in working together looks bright for both organizations. Southwest reciprocated with an amazing LED silk flower arrangement and vase for our Adult Prom. Thank you Southwest. Onward!

On March 9, we helped our staff at WRHS put on a “Scrubs Camp” for fifty, freshman and sophomores from Scranton and Hettinger Schools. It was a full day of hands-on experiences, including dissecting cow brains, giving shots to oranges, suturing chicken breasts, experiencing the jaws of life and fire hoses from the fire department, learning about radiology, dentistry, pharmacy, laboratory, physical therapy and ambulance. Our hopes are to continue providing hands-on experiences for our area youth in the coming years via more Scrubs Camps (maybe in other locales); with the final outcome being to convince them that they can go away to college, but realize that we have good-paying healthcare and peripheral healthcare professions in our local rural communities. And what better place to raise children than right here in western Dakota? Where the healthcare is second to none.

We participated at the KBJM Farm & Home Show in Lemmon, S.D. on March 11. Numerous vendors were there and so was your Foundation. For a $10 or more gift to the Foundation, donors were placed into a drawing for one of Sylvia Engle’s homemade pies. We received 38 gifts totaling an amazing $1,025; with ten of those lucky 38 receiving awesome, made from scratch pies! Thank you Lemmon area for supporting West River. We’re here for you.

We collaborated with RZ Motors on a “Ride For The Rooms” event March 16, where if we could get 200 people to test drive a RAM truck from our WRHS parking lot, RZ’s would donate $2,500 to our “One Room At a Time Together” Campaign at Western Horizons Care Center. We promoted this event like crazy and over 220 people braved the wind and cemented the $2,500 gift. On that same day, RZ Motors had free hotdogs and pop for people who visited their dealership – as well as half price oil changes and one day only lower pricing. It worked! After almost 50 oil changes and 150 free hot dogs and 4 vehicles sold – everyone needed a good night’s sleep!

Needless to say, March was a busy month. Whoa!

On April 16, our 2nd Annual WRHS Foundation “Adult Prom” was a huge success, as we raised almost $38,000 net for the “One Room At a Time Together” Campaign at Western Horizons Care Center! Over 135 people attended the Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year, with over 80 participating in the traditional Grand March. It was followed by the ever increasing in length Prom Tunnel and then awesome music from local DJ Hot Trax! Next was the rapid fire Live Auction with auctioneer Chuck Christman making the calls and bringing in over $14,000 in net revenues. The 22 Live Auction items for sale ranged from trips to Arizona, Lake Sakakawea, and UND Hockey to amazing sports logo’d tables to Redlin labeled wines and even a drone with an attached video camera! Plus a grill, a zero turn radius mower, 85 pounds of beef, a gasless weedeater, six months of fresh flowers, a tool chest, an Indian Dinner for 6, NDSU gear and cornhole boards, a beautiful maple burl bowel, a walnut wine rack and Redlin artwork. The Silent Auction was wrapped up thirty minutes after the Live Auction and raised another $2,270! With 22 more awesome items to choose from, most everyone bid for a terrific prize. And a terrific cause. Special thanks to the Jesfjeld Boys and their staff for hosting this event at the Woodfire Grill; to Hot Trax (Nolan Dix and Tery Spratta) for the terrific musical beats; to Sheri Uecker, Cindy Ham and Amanda Reimer for gorgeous prom decorating; to Erin Honeyman for her long hours of computer work and organizing the Grand March; to Amanda Reimer for her outstanding photography; to Kennedy’s Fresh Foods for the awesome appetizers and sandwiches; to Sheri Uecker for greeting and registering everyone as they entered; to Lemmon Livestock for the bidding cards; and to Chuck Christman for his terrific auctioneering. Plus, thank you to all of the buyers and sellers of tickets, all of the providers of silent and live auction items, as well as those who purchased them. Without all of you doing your part, we raise nothing. THANK YOU! Now let’s get to working on our Care Center renovations!

Just recently in mid-April our WRHS Scholarship Program Committee determined who the most deserving 20 scholarship winners were for 2016. We are giving out $16,000 in scholarships (ranging from $500 to $1,000 each) to the most deserving 20 of almost 80 applicants. We are in the process of contacting all of the winners and will be announcing them soon. Thank you to all of the students who applied. Our committee members were most impressed with the overall quality of the applicants, which is a testament to our terrific parents and area school systems.

As for the future, your Foundation will be hosting our 2nd Annual “Foundation Nation” Scamble Golf Tournament on May 21 at the Hettinger Country Club. The 9-hole scramble is scheduled for a 4:00pm shotgun start! Please sign-up at WRHS or Hettinger Country Club. The prizes will be amazing and a meal will be served. Only $25 per person! All proceeds go toward our “One Room At a Time Together” Campaign at Western Horizons Care Center.

Also, we will be meeting with the Partners In Health Committee on May 24, at 9:00am, in the WRHS classrooms. On that day, we will hear about needed small equipment and improvement proposals from various departments throughout WRHS. The committee will then decide on the most needed proposals and move forth with dispersing the funds. In the last 13 years, the Foundation’s Partners in Health Program has given out $392,786 for improvements at WRHS.

Until next time, we have lots of work to do. Thanks for supporting our WRHS Foundation, which in turn directly helps support the leader in Western Dakota healthcare – West River Health Services.

Every patient. Every day. No matter when or why. We’re here for you.