Grateful Donors – Community Donations Support Health Care Workers

The COVID pandemic has been life-changing for everyone, and our local health care workers have worked tirelessly through it all to keep our community safe and healthy. Local businesses, organizations and individuals have rallied around Hutchinson Health employees to show support and gratitude. Every donation, whether a monetary gift or pizza for staff, has made a big impact in showing the strength of positive actions and coming together as a community.

Andrew Miner, a donor to the COVID-19 Response & Relief Fund said, “I wanted to give back to a community that supported me growing up, and to inspire cherish-able acts, no matter how big or small they make an impact. It’s about community and family, and how we can support each other in times of need.” 

We would also like to thank the following individuals, groups and businesses who boosted the spirits of Hutchinson Health team members by making generous donations:

  • 3M – 1,000 N95 & R95 masks
  • TigerBots with funding from the IJ Burich Foundation –  constructed face shields for health care workers
  • Steve Kropp – State Farm – complimentary entree at Qdoba for health care workers
  • Shad Ketcher – New Era Financial – 50 free meals from Zellas for health care workers 
  • William “Bo” Young – American Family Insurance – pizza for health care workers
  • Dominos Hutchinson – 10 free pizzas for staff
  • Ridgewater College – ventilator 
  • Hutchinson Area Women of Today – treats and snacks for front line staff
  • Nichols Family – made and donated hundreds of face masks 
  • All donors to the COVID-19 Response & Relief Fund – every dollar makes a difference!
  • All who donated PPE during drop-off donation hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all who have donated to support our local health care workers during the COVID pandemic. We will get through this by continuing to work together and will come out the other side a stronger, healthier community!  

If you are interested in learning more about donation opportunities, please email or call Rachel Gemuenden at 320.484.4438.

A Message from Grateful Donors – The Nichols Family

A Note from Sheila Nichols, sister of Hutchinson Health’s Dr. Stacy Nichols

As always, when you give a part of yourself to a worthy organization, you get back tenfold.  During these tumultuous times, you need to lend a hand any way you can.  There is distance between us, but there is no lack of unity in our fight to overcome this and become a stronger nation because of it.

~ Sheila Nichols

Donna Nichols

On March 13th we took our parents out of their senior apartment and moved them into our house in Plymouth.  All four kids felt this was imperative as we had seen the heartbreaking photos of Seattle where the seniors were locked inside with no visitors.  Our timing was early, and a bit of a surprise to our parents.  We said to each other that it was better early as by the time it was too late, it was way too late.  We were able to take their recliners, clothes, meds, etc.  And, gave us enough time to return for forgotten items while we could still move freely about the building.  Due to Mom and Dad (Donna and Steve Nichols) underlying health issues at 87 and 88 years old, we knew that COVID 19 would not be kind to them.  We quarantined ourselves starting that day and have had everything delivered to us since then.

Watching the news on the television is daunting.  You can see too much, yet you cannot turn away.  We sit here in our big, comfortable house.  We are warm, we are fed, we are among loved ones, yet the world seems to be turning upside down.  We enjoy the bald eagle and swans in the back yard, seeing the neighbor kids play in the street.  It all seems so surreal – can it be true?  The more we watch, the more helpless we felt.  Mom and Dad remember WWII when they were children.  They tell of picking milkweed pods and cattails to make life preservers for the sailors.  They talk about saving and flattening aluminum cans, silver gum wrappers and victory gardens.  It changed their world forever, as this will change ours.

Steve Nichols

Then we learn of the shortage of PPE, which should never happen in the greatest country in the world.  But, it has.  We not only have healthcare workers without protection, but we have new warriors out there – shopping, selling and delivering – with no protection.  When we heard about organizations asking for homemade masks we knew this was something we could do.  We immediately rallied behind the initiative and cleaned out our own stashes of cotton fabric and elastic.  We quickly ordered another sewing machine and more materials on the internet.  We began our own war effort in our dining room in Plymouth.  Dad carefully cuts the elastic to the correct length.  Mom sews the masks from the fabric I have cut – alternating from the sewing machine to resting her legs while she turns them inside out.  The count is up to 500 and still going strong.  New fabric arrives weekly – giving us something to look forward to.  We love the pictures of friends and healthcare workers wearing the masks.  It gives us joy to see that we are making a tiny difference.

My sister, Dr. Stacy Nichols, works for Hutchinson Health.  She told us that the Foundation had started collecting masks for use in non patient facing positions and for all people entering the nursing homes.  They were in need.  We were honored to be able to support such a wonderful organization, and one that is so close to our hearts – part of the family. Recognizing that it was probably more difficult to get donations outside of the city; yet the need might be even greater due to the limited supply. Supporting Stacy made us proud.  We have focused our donation efforts on organizations that we as a family touch personally.

There are fancier masks out there, but we are staying with what we know. We sew every day, but not all day.  We enjoying seeing the piles grow and have a sense of accomplishment when we can ship them out.  But, the most joy is seeing a picture of someone actually wearing the mask.  Our little way to help.

As always, when you give a part of yourself to a worthy organization, you get back tenfold.  During these tumultuous times, you need to lend a hand any way you can.  There is distance between us, but there is no lack of unity in our fight to overcome this and become a stronger nation because of it.

If you are interested in learning more about donation opportunities, please email or call Rachel Gemuenden at 320.484.4438

A Message from Grateful Donors – Dr. David & Cara Mach

Dr. David & Cara Mach at the 2019 Moonlight Masquerade Gala

Dr. David and Cara Mach are proud to have made Hutchinson home with their young children. The community’s generosity and the support that is offered to many different organizations, including the Hutchinson Health Foundation, is what makes them most proud of working and living in Hutchinson. 

“A community that selflessly gives to others is something we are proud to be a part of, and we believe that organizations like the Foundation can and will act to serve a larger purpose in our community,” says Cara.

The Machs choose to direct their time and financial resources to the Foundation because, “Organizations like the Foundation offer avenues for people or groups in our community to have access to more opportunities. The Foundation’s vision for aiding our community’s needs is in line with the values we admire and strive for.” 

For the Machs, keeping health care local is vital because they feel a strong a vibrant health care system will continue to enhance Hutchinson, promote better health and increase the quality of life for those in Hutchinson and the surrounding area. 

Thank you, Machs, for your generosity!

If you are interested in learning more about our donation opportunities, please email or call Rachel Gemuenden at 320.484.4438

A Message From Grateful Donors – Dan & Kara Neubarth

Kara & Dan Neubarth

​For Dan and Kara Neubarth, it was an easy decision to return to Hutchinson. They were both born and raised here, and after some time away for college, coming back to the place they call home was an obvious choice to raise their family because of “great schools, activities and healthcare,” according to Kara.

Their love of Hutchinson includes their support of Hutchinson Health and the Hutchinson Health Foundation. Kara is a Hutchinson Health staff member and a Foundation board member.  She is passionate about advancing the mission of both and keeping healthcare accessible to all to improve the overall health and well-being of individuals in our community.

In 2019, the Neubarth’s generously supported worthy health initiatives, such as the local hospice program, Common Cup’s Back Pack Program (supplemental feeding program for local children), and Power of Produce (allows kids access to fresh produce at the Hutchinson Farmer’s Market). Kara noted that they are also pleased to support the new inpatient unit, “Which will be an amazing asset to Hutchinson Health as well as the community who will utilize this state of the art space.”

When asked why they give to the Foundation, Kara responded, “We choose to donate time and money to the Foundation because I believe they are successful in improving the health and well-being of our community, and I want to be a part of the great work they have done and will do in the future. Hutchinson is always progressing, making it a wonderful place to live, and local healthcare is an important component of that. Illness, accidents and emergencies are a part of our world. Having a facility to diagnose, treat, and manage different types of ailments right in our back yard is a blessing. Keeping exceptional health care local is pivotal in maintaining a healthy and thriving community!”

Thank you, Dan and Kara, for your dedication and contributions to the Foundation!

If you are interested in learning more about our Circle of Friends program or other donation opportunities, please email or call Rachel Gemuenden at 320.484.4438

A Message From Grateful Donor – Kyle Wendling

Kyle Wendling, HHF Board Member and Patrons of Promise Member

Kyle Wendling, HHF Board Member and Patrons of Promise Member

There may be a number of reasons you recognize Kyle Wendling’s name. Not only is Kyle a native of Hutchinson and co-owner of Wendling Insurance Services Inc. on Main Street, but he is also a Hutchinson Health Foundation Board member and Patrons of Promise member.

Kyle’s generosity to the Foundation comes from a love of his hometown and a desire to help members of the community. When asked about why Kyle decides to give gifts of time and money to organizations such as the Foundation, Kyle said, “How can you call Hutchinson home and not want to get involved? There are so many opportunities here to engage in organizations that have a direct, positive impact on our friends and neighbors. I choose to give back to the Foundation because I work with a lot of individuals who have concerns about healthcare after retiring. The Foundation does a wondering job at providing support to Hutchinson Health and the community as a whole to advance health in our area.”

When asked about what he is most proud of about our community, Kyle shared, “I believe our community sees the importance of striving to constantly improve quality of life for all individuals, including the new Cancer Center and inpatient addition, remodeled high school, and a great park system. Having quality healthcare at a local level is essential for our community to grow and attract new people to the area.”

Thank you, Kyle, for your dedication and contributions to the Foundation!

If you are interested in learning more about our Patrons of Promise program or other donation opportunities, please email or call Rachel Gemuenden at 320.484.4438

A Message From Our Grateful Donors – The ONE Campaign

The ONE Campaign – Hutchinson Health Employees

April 1st saw the rebranding and launch of what has been a successful and popular employee giving program. The ONE Campaign launched exactly one year after joining the Health Partners Family and was formerly referred to as our E-Star Campaign. All donations contributed by our employees stay right here at Hutchinson Health and have a direct impact on our facilities. Improvements to Hutchinson Health, like the recent Cancer Center, and the now in process new Inpatient Unit are made a reality because of the generous support of our employees.

We asked a few of our employees to share why they choose to not only dedicate their time to Hutchinson Health on a daily basis, but also make a recurring, employee-directed financial contribution. A collection of their thoughts can be found below.   

“The Foundation does wonderful things within Hutchinson Health and has a huge impact on everyone. I choose to support their efforts because it means a lot to me that our monetary donation stays within the Hutchinson Hospital.” ~ Tammy Stifter, Staffing Scheduler

“I am a strong advocate and believer in philanthropy! Being able to help others by the gifts of time and money brings a sense of satisfaction.  As a lifelong member of this community and as a dedicated employee of Hutchinson Health, I want to see healthcare thrive.” ~ Kara Neubarth, Clinics and RT Operation Services Manager

“I believe donating gifts of time and money demonstrates my commitment not only to my work as an employee, but to our patients, their families and my fellow co-workers. I believe in the mission of the Foundation and the work that they do. I feel that to make our organization stronger, it is crucial to support them at every level from donating time to donating financially.

The Foundation’s focus to keep healthcare local is important to me, as keeping healthcare local is what keeps a community vibrant. It provides accessibility to many health services for individuals and provides economic growth for the community.” ~ Anna Harvala, Human Relations Representative

“I feel that giving gifts of time and money to organizations such as the Foundation is a small way I can help out a wonderful cause. The Foundation does a lot of great things and gives back to our community and healthcare.

Keeping healthcare local is important as it not only provides great service to our community, but it also provides numerous jobs.” ~ Amy McKay, Administrative Assistant

If you are interested in learning more about or participating in The ONE Campaignemail or call Rachael Gemuenden at 320.484.4438. This program is not limited to Hutchinson Health employees, and other businesses and community organizations can also enroll in our payroll deduction program!

A Message From One of Our Grateful Donors – The Mulders

Dr. Steven & Evelyn Mulder

Dr. Steven & Evelyn Mulder

It is no secret that our donors are what make our Foundation successful.  Without their support, whether it be through our donor clubs, our E-Star program, by supporting our fundraising events, or simply a one time donation, we would cease to exist. Those of you new to the Foundation may not understand the impact that would have on our community. Every year we give away thousands of dollars in grants (thanks to our donors) that go to support the growth of health care in our community and make it a better place.

So as we continue forward with a new year, we will continue to bring you stories about our grant recipients, and how your donations make a critical impact; as well as stories from our donors and why they choose to partner with us, like the one below. If you would ever like to learn more about the Foundation, don’t hesitate to reach out!


Many of you know Dr. Mulder as the President of Hutchinson Health. In addition, he and his wife Evelyn are avid supporters of the Foundation and long time Circle of Friends Members. With an upcoming April retirement, we wanted to take this opportunity to sit down with Dr. Mulder and get his perspective about donating to an organization that is so near and dear to his heart. Dr. Mulder wanted to share the following: [Read more…]

A Message From One of Our Grateful Donors – Citizens Bank & Trust

The Citizens Bank & Trust Business Team from left to right: Anthony Hanson, Tim Ulrich, Buzz Burich, and Mike Cannon

If you have resided in Hutchinson for any length of time, you most likely have been impacted by one of the numerous organizations, facilities and community events that Citizens Bank & Trust supports. It’s no secret that they love this community, and want to see it thrive. The Foundation has been thankful to have their support as an Annual Event Sponsor for many years.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mike Cannon to discuss why he and the Bank continually support the Foundation and our endeavors. He shared the following:

“We feel our community has a lot to offer, which includes good industry, education and health care. All of these are a vital component to a strong community, and something we take into consideration when making donations. The Bank wishes to aid in enhancing the health care offering in the community with our donations; and we believe gifts directly to the Foundation are the best route for us to support our local health care. After all, having a strong health care system truly helps the community grow and prosper.”

We can’t thank organizations like Citizens Bank & Trust enough for helping us stay successful in our efforts to carry through our mission.

If you are interested in exploring more about becoming an annual event sponsor or event sponsorship, email or call Rachael Gemuenden at rgemuenden@hutchhealth.com or 320.484.4438

A Message From One of Our Grateful Donors – The Fortuns’

Longterm Foundation Supporters Wayne and Terry Fortun

Long-term Foundation Supporters Wayne and Terry Fortun

While we are extremely grateful for each and every donor that supports the Foundation, we feel exceptionally blessed for our relationships with long-term donors. Their support and commitment to our cause and efforts year after year are invaluable. Wayne and Terry Fortun fall into that donor group, and recently blessed the foundation with a very substantial donation to the new Cancer Center. We had the opportunity to sit down with Wayne and Terry to learn more about what drives their desire to support our organization. Wayne shared the following:

[Read more…]

Helping Hutch Health and Health Care Thrive

A message from our grateful donors – The E-Stars

E-Star Employees participating in the Winter Olympics Relay. Hutchinson Health Staff is set to raise over $56,000 in 2018.

E-Star Employees participating in the Winter Olympics Relay. Hutchinson Health Staff is set to raise over $56,000 in 2018.

The Foundation is fortunate to have several donor groups who support our mission and efforts on a continual basis. The Hutchinson Health E-Stars is one such group, and their commitment to the Foundation has a large impact that is felt throughout the community. Through the E-Star (employee giving) program, employees are able to make one-time or recurring gifts, payroll deductions and PTO contributions.  In the past five years our E-Stars have donated over $200,000 to the Foundation! The funds foster our grant and scholarship programs, and 2017 and 2018 funds will be applied towards the new Cancer Center.

We recently sat down for a quick Q&A with 2 Hutchinson Health Employee E-Stars – Kara Neubarth, Clinics and RT Operation Services Manager, and Stefanie Frank, Medical Staff & Accreditation Specialist. We wanted to learn why they choose to participate in this program, and what impact they believe doing so has on our community. [Read more…]