Grand Island, Neb. — First-responders and cancer treatment professionals live in very different worlds. One can be at the scene of a car accident and the other can be computing the right amount of radiation to administer to a patient who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
But they share one common experience: They are battling to save lives.
First-responders from five area counties and cancer treatment health-care providers came together at CHI Health St. Francis Tuesday to share in one other common experience. They will both benefit from the money raised by the St. Francis Foundation’s Ticket to Win fundraiser.
Ticket to Win is a merging of the St. Francis Foundation’s two top fundraising events: Hullabaloo and Ticket to Ride. During the past 14 years, Hullabaloo and Ticket to Ride combined to raise more than $1.3 million in funds that were distributed by the Foundation.
To kick off the new Ticket to Win event, the Foundation will be honoring hometown Husker, Sam Foltz, the Nebraska star punter who died in a car accident last summer while instructing at a kicking camp for younger players. His parents, Gerald and Jill Foltz, will be the Foundation’s special guests to draw the winning tickets on Thursday, May 18.
The University of Nebraska has generously donated the last of the originally produced No. 27 jerseys worn by Sam Foltz and the Foundation will be auctioning if off at the event.
The drawing of ticket winners, including a $20,000 cash-prize recipient and winners of nine other $500 prizes, will start at 5:30 p.m. on May 18. The winning ticket will be announced at 6:30 p.m. and the ticket-holder doesn’t need to be present to win.
Tickets cost $100 each.
“We wanted our fundraising event to become more meaningful,” said Claire Aguilar, director of the St. Francis Foundation. “While it is exciting for the community to hear about the grand-prize winner, we also wanted to remind those who purchase tickets why we raise the money in the first place.”
Proceeds from the event will be split evenly to support training and equipment for rural first-responders in Hall, Hamilton, Howard, Merrick and Greeley counties and to support the out of pocket expenses — like gas, groceries and rent — for patients currently receiving treatment at the St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center.
Last year, the St. Francis Foundation donated $36,835 in funds to area first responders to purchase equipment such as communications systems. GPS tracking — used for quicker responses to emergency locations — grain bin rescue equipment and a rescue saw that cuts through metal.
The Foundation also donated more than $35,000 to cancer patients that are in need of assistance to pay for everyday living expenses while undergoing treatment and experiencing financial stress.
“We believe that everyone who supports these two important causes in our community will feel like winners,” Aguilar said. “Our community certainly will be better off because of this event.”
In addition to the $20,000 grand prize, other prize opportunities include:
■ $500 Visa Card from Agriculture Services
■ $500 Visa Card from Arby’s of Grand Island
■ $500 Conestoga Mall gift card
■ $500 Gift Card from General Collection Co.
■ Two $500 Visa Cards from Lacy Construction
■ $500 Visa Card from Paul Davis Restoration
■ $500 gas car from Tom and Sue Pirnie
■ $500 Visa Card from Russ and Kim Rerucha
About CHI Health St. Francis
CHI Health St. Francis is a non-profit faith-based hospital serving Central Nebraska with state-of-the-art healthcare services. The St. Francis tower has 159 acute-care patient rooms, including the Family Birthing Center, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Intensive Care Unit and a 10-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit. St. Francis also operates a Cancer Treatment Center in Grand Island and Hastings, a Skilled Care Unit and an Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center.
About CHI Health
CHI Health is a regional health network with a unified mission: nurturing the healing ministry of the Church while creating healthier communities. Headquartered in Omaha, the combined organization consists of 15 hospitals, two stand-alone behavioral health facilities and more than 150 employed physician practice locations in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa. More than 14,000 employees comprise the workforce of this network that includes 2,820 licensed beds and serves as the primary teaching partner of Creighton University’s health sciences schools. In fiscal year 2015, the organization provided a combined $172.1 million in quantified community benefit including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With locations stretching from Kearney, Neb. to Missouri Valley, Iowa, the health network is the largest in Nebraska and serves residents of Nebraska, southwest Iowa and northern Kansas. For more information, visit online at CHIhealth.com and CHINebraska.org.
About Catholic Health Initiatives
St. Francis is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health system based in Englewood, Colorado. The faith-based system operates in 18 states and includes 103 hospitals, as well as long-term care, assisted- and residential living communities; community health services organizations; home health agencies and outpatient facilities and services. In fiscal year 2016, CHI provided more than $1.1 billion in financial assistance and community benefit. CHI generated operating revenues of $15.9 billion and has total assets of approximately $22.7 billion.