Relay for Life of Nobles County gets boost
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation is giving the Relay for Life of Nobles County a welcome boost in its fundraising efforts this year by offering matching contributions of up to $50,000 for the American Cancer Society.
“We really want to do this because of all the good work that’s done through the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life,” said WRHCF board chairwoman Paula Chapulis. “I think the biggest reason for doing the matching funds … is to work and partner with organizations that are already doing fundraising and helping them with that — making sure those organizations we partner with are within our mission and making the dollars that people are already donating go farther.”
Relay for Life of Nobles County co-chairwoman Kim Lambert is excited about the foundation matching donations for the American Cancer Society’s local relay.
“We knew that with Sathers closing and not having a team anymore, we were losing … around $25,000,” Lambert said. “Obviously, this will more than make up for that.”
The 2014 Relay is June 20 at the Nobles County Fairgrounds in Worthington.
“We’ve already raised about $10,000,” said Lambert. “We still have a lot of money to raise to reach our $82,000 goal. We’re hoping that we’ll get even more support (from donors) with the opportunity to have the funds matched.”
Chapulis said the difficult decision among WRHCF’s board of directors was deciding the amount of money it would match. The board wanted to ensure the matching funds benefitted local residents.
“People who have had cancer have utilized the (ACS) services,” said Chapulis, adding that funds are available to help patients with gas money to get to appointments or lodging for an extended stay at one of Minnesota’s two Hope Lodge locations at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Rochester.
“The services are really helping those who are going through a difficult time in their lives,” she said.
If the partnership between Relay for Life of Nobles County and the WRHCF is deemed successful this year, Chapulis said the foundation may consider offering matching funds in the future.
“The end result has to make sense for our mission — the health care and wellness of the people of Worthington and the surrounding area,” she said.
Chapulis said the health care foundation continues to work on defining its focus to target foundation dollars. That said, three main focal points the board is considering include the elderly, the diverse population and youth/youth obesity.
Improving access to health care for the elderly and people of diversity have been outlined. Support of youth programs such as the Worthington Area Youth Baseball Association, Worthington Hockey Association and projects to expand equipment at the high school is hoped to target child obesity.
“We’ve really tried to help organizations that work to promote activity for kids,” Chapulis said, adding that with the youth baseball association, a scholarship program is being created to give kids who may not have experienced baseball before an opportunity to be a part of the program.
“It’s something that we’re just really excited about — we’re excited about trying to grow the foundation and be in the forefront of healthcare,” she added. “We are continuing to make decisions to help us be a leader in health care, not just for Worthington, but for the region.”
Individuals and businesses who support Relay for Life of Nobles County through the purchase of luminaria or sponsorships are urged this year to make checks payable to the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation, with a notation in the memo line that it is to support Nobles County Relay for Life. The notation must be made on the check for the health care foundation to provide the matching funds.
Checks can either be given to Relay for Life team members or sent directly to the WRHCF, 1121 Third Ave., Worthington.
“We are a 501(c)(3), so it is tax deductible,” Chapulis said, adding that letters will be sent to all donors confirming their contribution was matched.
Relay for Life team members will soon be selling luminaria and other sponsorships for this year’s Nobles County Relay. There are currently nine teams and 53 registered Relay for Life participants, but Lambert said that number will increase.
“Typically we have 17 to 20 teams and 250 participants,” Lambert said. Anyone interested in forming a team this year is urged to contact her at 372-5305 or email email@example.com.
For more information on American Cancer Society services, visit cancer.org or call 1-800-ACS-2345.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.