Quarter 3, 2020

In this Edition:

Message From the Director

Preparing for Success in 2021

Wednesday, September 16th 2020 was a BIG day for our Foundation! We as a collective board of directors were able to execute our Strategic Retreat and our FIRST in person meeting since the craziness of COVID began! While our annual retreat looked a bit different this year, complete with masks, social distancing, and pre-packaged food, one thing remained the same: the ability to reflect, refocus and refresh.

The board came up with these four areas of focus for 2021:

1. Board Member Tool Kit: Our board of directors are the face of the Foundation; they carry the mission of the Foundation to the community. You, our donors, have had some great questions and feedback. Due in part to some of these inquires, we realized a “board member tool kit” could help address some of these. The “tool kit” would include information about the Foundation’s mission, fundraising needs and goals, grant and scholarship information, partnerships and more. Our duty as a Foundation is to be transparent, consistent, and direct with our message. This tool kit will help us in achieving a unified message.

2. Fundraising Events: Annual fundraising events serve as a main source of revenue for the Foundation. This past year has been unprecedented- to my knowledge there has never been a year since the inception of the Foundation that all events had to be canceled. I think we have all heard the term making lemonade out of lemons? Well – that is precisely what we intend to do. We will be looking at all of our events to make sure they are meeting the goals and expectations of the Foundation, as well as looking at new opportunities!

3. Health and Well-being: The mission of Hutchinson Health and subsequently the Foundation is to improve health and well-being with our members, patients, and community. We received a donation from HealthPartners in 2018 to help us further wellness in our community. We hope to better share with you in the upcoming year what efforts are being supported through these dollars and the amazing work that is being done to make our community a healthier one!

4. Forward Momentum: This year has been a challenge for many. The strategic retreat let us reflect on the past year, as well as set our sights to the future. We realized that there are some things that may never get back to “normal” as far as the Foundation goes, but that might be a good thing. We will be looking at areas like our funding, and making sure we have a healthy mix of event funds, major gifts, and grants. We have learned that technology can help bridge some gaps when it comes to meetings and travel. We have also been reaffirmed by our board’s prudent use of funds, which have helped us weather these turbulent times. Out of the many lessons we learned in the past year, one thing is for sure – our board is ready to succeed in 2021!

I hope you enjoy these wonderful fall days and maybe even take some time of your own to reflect, refocus, and refresh.

Rachael Gemuenden, Foundation Director


Rachael Gemuenden
Director | Hutchinson Health Foundation



 Grateful Recipient – St. Anastasia Catholic School

“We were so excited to learn that we were a recipient of a donation from Hutchinson Health Foundation! Who knew early in the year that thermometers would become such a vital item for the classroom? Returning to school during COVID-19 has made it essential to equip our teachers with thermometers to aid in the early detection of COVID-19 symptoms. Of course, this was not on the radar when we wrote the grant. The idea was to save time and eliminate distractions in the classroom by allowing the teacher to quickly and quietly take a student’s temperature without the student leaving the room, and then make the determination of a visit to the nurse’s office.

This has helped our kids be in school and stay in school. We are fortunate to live in a community that has local accessible healthcare. Thank you!”

Betty Jodzio, Principal

Learn more about the 2020 grant recipients here.

Grateful Donors – Keith and Tess Heikes

Keith and Tess Heikes were taught the importance of giving back from an early age. Each of them grew up with generous parents who instilled in them the value of giving what you have, whether that is time, money, talent, or compassion. The Heikes family believes that giving is contagious, and every gift, big and small, makes an impact.

Keith and Tess love that Hutchinson feels like extended family and that the community works hard to support its members and businesses. The tight-knit, small-town feel is important, and Keith jokes that, “Hutchinson is big enough to make the weather report, but small enough to avoid the traffic report.” 

When asked why they choose to donate to the Foundation, Tess responded, “I feel that the Foundation is there to support and improve the lives of those in our community and as an employee of Hutchinson Health it is a privilege to be a part of that. I can live my personal values through my work and through giving to the foundation. Keeping healthcare local is important to us because it is crucial for people in rural communities to have access to quality care, not just for acute needs but also for education and prevention. This is the key to having a healthier community.”

Thank you, Keith and Tess, for your generosity! .

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

Ladies Day Out! 

Grab your friends and head to the Crow River Winery on Tuesday, December 8 for jewelry shopping, wine tasting and delicious food. The event will take place in the Great Hall from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. All proceeds will benefit the Foundation’s scholarship program.

Please note that all guests must adhere to Crow River Winery’s safety protocols, including making reservations for dining (walk-in reservations are welcome).


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