CARTHAGE, Ill. -- A Hancock County foundation marked a milestone in working to enhance health and wellness in its communities.
Memorial Hospital Foundation has passed the $500,000 mark in raising funds to support projects and endowment efforts from its launch in January 2015 to the beginning of this year.
"For a small community to raise that amount of money in that amount of time is a good start," said Greta Wetzel, the foundation's executive director. "As people learn about us and are educated about what our mission is, I think it will only grow."
The foundation has completed four annual campaigns, each focused on a specific project, with plans underway for its fifth to support UnityPoint Health-Memorial Hospital, Hancock Village and community health and wellness projects.
"Every year the board really looks out into our community, at our hospital and at our senior services and what we can do, something a bit special," Wetzel said. "We might not be able to do something beyond what we're already doing unless the foundation goes out and raises funds."
The foundation's first effort bought a driving simulator still being used within high school driver's education classes in the county. Adding a fitness park to the hospital campus "went from one project to many projects and has enhanced the entire campus," Wetzel said. "People can come and use that entire area. Employees have a chance to get out and exercise on break or lunch, and patients can use it."
The foundation raised $150,000 for a 3D mammography machine, bought a 15-passenger recreational vehicle last year for the senior campus through its "enjoy the ride" effort and added to the hospital's endowment.
Key to the foundation's efforts have been its board with representatives from across the county, events like the annual gala held every April, engaging with staff and working with individuals on major giving.
"It's mostly due to our donors and the planning of our committees. Everybody pitches in and works real hard," Wetzel said.
"Reaching this milestone not only shows that we are actively fulfilling our mission of pursuing relevant and helpful projects and campaigns, but it also goes to show just how generous and kind our local residents and organizations truly are," said Joe Zumwalt, who chairs the foundation board.
Funds raised by the foundation are used locally, not throughout the UnityPoint Health system, to make a difference.
"It makes my job really enjoyable," Wetzel said. "I know I'm making a difference every day, and that's just a really good feeling."
More information on supporting the Memorial Hospital Foundation is available by contacting Wetzel at 217-357-8502 or firstname.lastname@example.org and online at mhtlc.org.