Raffle proceeds from F.R.O.G. car given to Southwest Healthcare

In February, Deb Patterson set out to raise money for her local hospital.

Deb Patterson presents a check in the amount of $79,303 to Southwest Healthcare CEO Becky Hanson
Deb Patterson presents a check in the amount of $79,303 to Southwest Healthcare CEO Becky Hanson

Posted May 2, 2014

By BRYCE MARTIN | N.D. Group Editor | bmartin@countrymedia.net

In February, Deb Patterson set out to raise money for her local hospital.

She and her husband Bert were treated like family as they made constant trips, at all hours of the day and night, during Bert’s fight against cancer. It was their home away from home.

Bert succumbed to cancer in December, but opened the door to a new venture for Patterson – an opportunity to pay tribute and honor the facility that had taken such good care of her husband.

A week before he passed away on Dec. 8, Bert told Patterson that he wished he had thought to hold a raffle to give his new cherry red Dodge Challenger away. Bert mentioned to Patterson that the car shouldn’t just sit and take up dust after he passed.

It was his wish to have raffled the car to raise money for a cause instead of selling it outright or leaving it for Patterson, who insisted it wasn’t the type of car for her.

She was able to make his wish a reality, with the help of family, friends, and a supportive community.

Patterson is a positive, enigmatic woman despite her loss and relies heavily on her faith and the faith held by her husband.

She touted the acronym F.R.O.G. – forever rely on God – and would explain what it meant every time a person asked. She would tell them about one of the doctors that treated Bert and the abundance of frogs in that doctor’s office. It was a motto that fit the situation perfectly and so it wasn’t long before the Patterson home was covered with all things F.R.O.G.

It was Patterson’s deep faith that helped carry her along the route to fulfill her late husband’s wish.

The F.R.O.G. car, as it was affectionately known, no longer took up space in any garage. Overcoming her initial fear of driving the car, Patterson would often be seen driving it around Bowman. She was eager to let her family and friends unleash the muscle of Bert’s had-to-have-it muscle car. And it was during this time that tickets were being sold to raffle off the car.

In March, on Bert’s birthday, the winner of the raffle was chosen. Just as important, the amount of raffle ticket sales was revealed and stunned the crowd.

Patterson recently presented a check in the amount of $79,303 to Southwest Healthcare CEO Becky Hanson. Half will go to the Celebrity Waiter fundraiser and the remaining half will be for the hospital’s Capital Campaign.

Patterson now stands fervently in the way of cancer. She recently shaved her head in support of a cancer patient and aligns herself with many others’ cancer battles, something Patterson said was happening too often in the area.

She is viewed in the community as a dynamic woman in the face of tragedy and a selfless person that cares so much for others.

Patterson made her husband’s wish come true.

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