Ted Uecker, WRHS Foundation
Wow! The Greater Lemmon Area came out in spades for the “Open House” of the New, West River Health Services Lemmon Dacotah Clinic on Saturday, July 13th, from 11:15am to 3:15pm. People have been wondering what the last eight months of gutting a former grocery store and rebuilding a healthcare clinic inside it, might look like! Over 500 people came through the doors of the New Clinic on Main Street following the Annual Boss Cowman Parade. Although the new healthcare Clinic is not scheduled to begin seeing patients until August 13th, the excitement to see the inside of this new facility among the area citizens was certainly apparent. There was a line of attendees out to the parking lot for the first hour from 11:15 to12:15!And it was certainly hot, which is normal for Boss Cowman Weekend, with temperatures hovering around 90 degrees. Employee-guided tours of the New Clinic remained steady right through to 3:15pm.
Not only did the people see the New Clinic, but they also dug a little deeper in their wallets and gifted $8,430 on this special day alone! Special thanks to the Frey Family Ranch, Stateline Designs and Mueller & Associates for their $1,000 gifts; John Hausauer, Josh & Lacy Hoff, Loran & Cindy Thom, and Dan & Jean Baumgarten with their $500 gifts; and Terry & Nancy Skretteberg, Owen & Jean Haas, and Garret & Robyn Schweitzer with $250 gifts. Plus we had numerous other awesome gifts ranging from $5 to $200! With the $2,500 in Matching Funds from partner and local fraternal organization, Modern Woodmen of Lemmon, the WRHS Foundation raised another $10,930 for the New Lemmon Dacotah Clinic! $5,000 of these raised funds will go toward a new microscope, two new wheelchairs and new automated blood pressure cuffs for the New Clinic. To date, the total raised for this $1.5 million Lemmon Clinic Project is a whopping $343,693 (our goal was $300K). Unbelievable!
After the Parade, hundreds of area folk were greeted at the door by West River Health Services personnel (nearly 15+), decked out in navy blue TEAM WRHS LEMMON DACOTAH CLINIC polo shirts, and ready to give employee-led tours. Just prior to entering the new facility, Schwan’s ice cream personnel were ready for the entourage of locals with 1,000 Free ice cream bars and Kennedy’s Fresh Foods provided Free ice cold bottles of water. The last count from Schwan’s was 550 ice cream bars given out! In addition, over 400 cold ice waters were passed out too! Thank you Schwan’s and Kennedy’s! We all certainly needed to cool off on this hot day.
Every guest was asked to sign the Guestbook and sign up for the door prize drawings as they entered. West River gave away four First Aid Kits and four Auto Emergency Kits via Runnings of Hettinger. The winners of the drawings were Rolly Peterson, Larry Lutz, Zoey Johnson, Julie Loper, Linda Newman, Delores Huber, Jack Rafferty and LeAnna Holdsclaw.Plus, if they wanted, any guests could have their blood pressure checked and blood sugar screenings as well. Fourty-four people had blood pressure checks and over 25 had blood sugar screenings! Thank you to WRHS wellness leaderPatty Ness, and UND Rome Students, Allie Trudel and Taylor Volberding,for administering the health screenings.
We also had local rising musician, ColtonDamjanovich, providing guitar and vocals for our parking lot/Main Street crowd and college-bound pianist, Dillon Reede, sent soothing sounds via his piano throughout the New Clinic. Thank you to both of these talented young artists for showing that we not only have tremendous contractors and contributors, but local talented musicians as well.
Although the flooring has not been totally completed, a few doors are still in transit, the signage is yet to be hung and the equipment has not been transferred over from the current WRHS Lemmon Clinic, everyone seemed to enjoy their tour and remarked at the amazing space, especially the amount of room. As is only right, we even had tour-goers checking the soundproof walls and the wheelchair accessibility! It certainly does not look like a grocery store anymore! Maybe the best comment of the day was that from a local lady whose dad had built the one-timegrocery store. She said, “My dad sure would be proud.”
At about 12:45pm on this sweltering hot day, a brief ceremony was held in the parking lot. Ted Uecker, the WRHS Foundation Director, who spearheaded the fundraising campaign and the Open House for this new Clinic, welcomed the crowd and thanked the local contractors, area businesses, organizations and families for supporting the local effort. Although Ueckerinitially was hoping for a meeting in Lemmon, SD at the border with South & North Dakota Governors Doug Burgum and Kristi Noem, the show went on without them (they were both asked months ago, but their schedules were full). Local lawyer and city leader Shane Penfield expressed the Lemmon Mayor’s admiration for the Project and the many positive contributions being made in the Greater Lemmon Area, especially on Main Street. Matt Shahan, WRHS CEO, thanked the local community for supporting our efforts and especially the WRHS Lemmon Clinic employees – who have played an important role in the development of this new facility. Next up was Garret Schweitzer, the new Market President for Dacotah Bank, who pointed out that everyone needs top-notch healthcare and that our area communities can collaborate on projects TOGETHER. Then Joan Pelkofer, longtime Lemmon Clinic Manager, and Anthony Larson, WRHS CNO and local Lemmon High graduate – who both put thousands of hours of their time into this important community project – officially cut the ribbon for Lemmon’s New WRHS Dacotah Clinic on Main Street!
The plan is to open the New WRHS Lemmon Dacotah Clinic for business and actually begin seeing patients on August 13th. Although there is plenty to be completed prior to the move, the people of the Greater Lemmon Area can rest assured that West River Health Services will continue to be their partner with their future healthcare. After all, everyone appreciates top-notch healthcare “close to home.”
If anyone would like to give to the New WRHS Lemmon Dacotah Clinic Project, checks can be written to “WRHSF,” and mailed to WRHS Foundation, Attn: Ted Uecker, 1000 Highway 12, Hettinger, ND, 58639. Or you can leave a gift at our current WRHS Lemmon Clinic at 401 – 6th Avenue West. All gifts of $100 or more will be recognized on our New Lemmon Clinic Donor Board in the Front Lobby. Plus, we are always accepting gifts for $1,000, $10,000, $20,000 and $25,000 for various sponsored rooms throughout the new facility. Onward!