WRHSF hosts Giving Hearts Day celebration

The West River Health Services Foundation (WRHSF) is hosting a celebratory event at the Peacock Mercantile, on March 26th from 5:00-7:00 p.m., to celebrate the hospital’s overwhelming success with Giving Hearts Day.

Frank Turner

The community far exceeded the hospital’s goal of raising $26,000 in matched funds for the new Physician Recruitment Endowment Fund. Instead, the community gathered together to raise over $147,000 for the hospital’s cause.
According to WRHSF Fund Development Officer Ted Uecker, the goal of the upcoming event is to thank the community for their support and celebrate the success of Giving Hearts Day.
“We were elated that the community stepped up for us once again,” said Uecker, “Some of the gifts given were just absolutely miraculous. We are just very gracious and have a lot of gratitude for the area communities that supported our Giving Hearts Day effort.”
Uecker attributed the success of the Giving Hearts Day event to the hospital’s engagement with the local sports teams at the Giving Hearts Night with the Night Hawks events. Uecker said that people were really engaged in supporting the event after seeing how much effort local businesses, the Night Hawks girls’ basketball teams, and the community had put into promoting Giving Hearts Day.
“Pulling everything together, it was a really engaging night. Altogether it got our point across that we need more top docs in our backyard,” said Uecker.
Uecker was extremely grateful to the community and the local businesses for their support as well.
“The extent that [our local businesses] will go to help us is pretty outstanding. It’s absolutely phenomenal what these people are doing.”
The West River Health Services Foundation will also use the celebration event to breakdown where the money from Giving Hearts Day is being allocated.
According to Uecker, of the $147,440 raised, $83,815 will go to the Physician Recruitment Endowment Fund, $42,225 will go to the New Lemmon Clinic, $20,000 will go toward an MRI Scanner & MRI Building Addition in WRHS radiology department in Hettinger, and lastly $1,400 will go to the Western Horizons Living Centers.
Although the main goal of Giving Hearts Day was to raise money for the Physician Recruitment Endowment Fund, donors still got to choose where their donation went. According to Uecker, WRHSF honored everyone’s donations and allocated the funds specific to the donor’s request.
“If people have a specific request to have their donation go to a specific place, we respect that,” said Uecker. “If people donate specifically to the Western Horizons Living Center, that’s where it goes.”
Uecker continued explaining that there are potentially more funds to be gained from the Giving Hearts Day Awards Banquet, which takes place April 1st.  Out of the many nonprofits participating, WRHSF finished Giving Hearts Day as a top 10 participant, relative to its size, and therefore, may receive more award gifts from the Dakota Medical Foundation and the Alex Stern Family Foundation.
Uecker said that more information regarding the specific breakdown of funds and award gifts will be elaborated on during the celebration event on March 26th. Ultimately, Uecker expressed that WRHSF is going to be as transparent as possible.
The event at the Peacock Mercantile will have an open espresso bar, aside from specialty drinks, and will serve crustini topped with red pepper tapenade, Swedish meatball, and a host of other treats, foods, and drinks.