Jay Gentry

With just a few hours left in 2010, the TCMH Healthcare Foundation reached the half million dollar fundraising milestone by the year’s end.

All funds counted, the foundation raised $160,458 in 2010, bringing its overall total to $500,880 since the charitable entity reorganized in 2006.

“This achievement is the result of five years of community-wide determination, visionary leadership and continuous donations to maintain, enhance and expand the healthcare foundation,” said Jim Bukowsky, president of the foundation.

On behalf of the healthcare foundation, Bukowsky expressed his gratefulness to everyone that has supported the organization in the past five years.

“Although we were a little short of our goal for 2010, we have made significant strides in our fundraising efforts,” said Jay Gentry, foundation director.

It originally hoped to raise $175,000 in 2010.

It raised $36,057 in its first full year of fundraising. The annual totals have grown each year to this high point in 2010 – almost $40,000 more than was raised in 2009.

Gentry attributed the increase in giving to the growing recognition of the foundation as a charitable organization in the county.

“The funds we raise are utilized locally to directly impact the quality of life for area residents,” Gentry said.

The foundation’s two annual fundraisers are a golf tournament in the summer and chili cook off in the fall. The annual chili cook off has become the largest fundraiser in Texas County with the proceeds benefiting TCMH Hospice of Care.

It also received endowed funds for two scholarships and other donations toward scholarships as part of monies raised in 2010.

The employees of TCMH are supporters of the foundation, making donations from their paychecks ranging from $2 to $38.50 per pay period. Helping Hands Partners donations average $16,000 annually.

Funding for the foundation comes in many different ways such as gifts from grateful patients and their families, community members, businesses and organizations that value healthcare in Texas County and the surrounding area. In 2010, a record amount of gifts in memory of loved ones were received.

Gentry is president of the foundation, which operates independently of the hospital. Officers in 2010 were Bukowsky; Jared Pyatt, vice president; and Joleen Senter Durham, secretary/treasurer. Other members are Colleen Bradford, Conway Hawn, Gina Hillhouse, Stacey Rasmussen, Maggie Ogden, Kay Jordan and Anne-Marie Mueller.

“Many members of our community have shown a great commitment to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation, and we could not have achieved this milestone without their support,” Gentry said.

He noted that the next major milestone is $1 million in donations.

“We hope that many more area individuals will take part in helping us reach the next milestone,” Gentry said.

The foundation hopes to direct additional donations in 2011 and upcoming years toward the major building project and related remodeling of TCMH.

“Now we have the challenge of continuing to spread the word and further develop the means for advancing healthcare in our community,” Bukowsky said.

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to ensure the quality of healthcare services for children, women and men at TCMH.

In addition to a general foundation fund, a Hospice of Care account is also in place for donations specifically designated for the hospital’s hospice program.

For additional information about the TCMH Healthcare Foundation, contact Gentry at 417-967-1377 or 1-866-967-3311, ext. 377.



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