West River hosts appreciation picnic for 235 hungry Mott area residents

To thank their area patients and contributors, and to inform them of the new renovation plans for their WRHS Mott Clinic, the Foundation at West River Health Services sponsored an “Appreciation Picnic” for the entire Mott Area community this past Wednesday, Aug. 3, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., at the Mott Legion Park.

By TED UECKER
WRHS Foundation

To thank their area patients and contributors, and to inform them of the new renovation plans for their WRHS Mott Clinic, the Foundation at West River Health Services sponsored an “Appreciation Picnic” for the entire Mott Area community this past Wednesday, Aug. 3, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., at the Mott Legion Park.

The Mott area residents began showing up at 11 a.m. sharp and continued in waves of 40-50 people right throughout 1 p.m., totaling somewhere around 235 at the end of the event! Mott City Council President Troy Mosbrucker and Hettinger County Economic Developer Aryn Hansen did most all of the legwork, from organizing the serving line to putting up posters throughout Mott, and even cooking all of the burgers and brats! WRHS CEO Matt Shahan, with Hansen, served up the complimentary burgers, brats, beans, and chips; as Mott Clinic Manager Lori Hill and Foundation Director Ted Uecker handed out refreshments – all compliments of West River for everyone in attendance. Needless to say, nobody left hungry!

Troy Mosburcker, President of the Mott City Council, grills during the appreciation picnic hosted by West River Health Services. (Photo by Ted Uecker)
Troy Mosburcker, President of the Mott City Council, grills during the appreciation picnic hosted by West River Health Services.
(Photo by Ted Uecker)

After lunch at about 12:35 p.m., Uecker welcomed everyone to the event and gave a quick overview of the “Mott Area Matching Challenge,” specifically thanking those who gave to the campaign. It all began a year and a half ago when an anonymous Mott area resident gave $10,000 to West River Health Services Foundation and asked that it be spent toward improvements to the Mott Clinic. The Foundation added $5,000 and two of the four patient exam rooms were remodeled. Six months later, this same anonymous citizen offered another $5,000 to the Foundation, if we could raise $7,500 – or half of the anonymous $15,000 given. Since we are always up for a matching challenge at the Foundation, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

For starters, we visited with two of our WRHS and Foundation Board of Director members from Mott (Mark Resner and Ervin Schneider). Shortly thereafter we met with Mott City Council President Troy Mosbrucker. We were invited to attend the monthly Mott City Council meeting that same night, presented our plan, and received a dollar for dollar match up to $5,000! You talk about getting behind a project from the onset! This terrific leadership example set everything in motion. We were off and running to visit with most every business in the Mott Area – the Commercial Bank of Mott, Wilbur-Ellis, Eido Printing, Good Samaritan Society, Mott Bus Service, Mott Equity Exchange, Pheasant Café, Farm Credit Services, Hettinger-Sioux County Abstracters Inc., and others. We put posters up all over town! Then came the organizations – the Mott Lions Club, Mott Volunteer Fire Brigade, Mott Ambulance Service, Trinity Lutheran Church, etc. It was absolutely amazing to see the outpouring of support from these non-profit organizations that could have used the funds themselves – for their own cause, instead of ours. Next we sent out an 800-piece mailing to everyone who had attended the Mott Clinic the last six months and anyone we missed via the Mott Area telephone book! Thereafter, the gifts from families were astonishing – all the way from $5 to $2,500 each!! Overall, so far we’ve received 86 different gifts totaling almost $34,000!! And lastly, we presented the entire program to the Mott Area public at the Mott Playhouse Theatre on Jan. 18 – it was five below zero and blizzarding outside! But we still had a crowd of true believers and raised $6,850 that night!

Lori Hill, Family Nurse Practitioner and Mott Clinic Manager, presented to the remaining crowd at Mott Legion Park, the new renovations planned for the Clinic, which start happening next week and will be ongoing throughout the rest of the year. They included putting in a new front door, renovating the restroom, renovating the two remaining patient exam rooms, and possibly more depending on the funds available. The hallways and lobby might need some renovations and potentially some better signage, especially along highway 8 going through town.

The new CEO at WRHS, Matt Shahan, also said a few words to the crowd about how grateful we are for the Mott Area Community, their support of the Mott Area Matching Challenge, the future of the Mott Clinic, and the importance of rural healthcare close to home.

Dr. Brian Willoughby, longtime visiting physician to the Mott Clinic, reminisced about the past and looked forward to the future. He has been serving Mott for almost 30 years, and has developed quite a relationship with his patients and therefore, the entire Mott area community. He must know that road from Hettinger to Mott pretty well! And, more importantly, the patients at the end of that road even better.

A gift box was set up at the picnic which brought in an additional $458 for the Mott Clinic, extending our fundraising efforts to over $34,000 raised! Thank you for new gifts from Meridean Sprecher, Ramona Swindler, Pat Schmidt, Virginia Friedt Jennings, Alex Aldinger, Ted & Sheri Uecker and one Anonymous donor. If anyone would still like to give to the “Mott Area Matching Challenge,” which will be spent 100% toward your WRHS Mott Clinic only, please write a check to “WRHSF” and send it to West River Health Services Foundation, 1000 Highway 12, Hettinger, ND 58639. If you have any questions, please call Ted Uecker at the Foundation (701-567-3666). Thank you Mott area supporters!

Special THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who helped us prepare and serve this awesome picnic, especially Troy Mosbrucker and Aryn Hansen. Thanks also to Heather Mosbrucker for preparing the sensational beans and hustling to Olson’s Foods for more ingredients. Plus thanks to Wilbur-Ellis for the donation of cold ice water and to the Commercial Bank of Mott for the napkins.  And mainly, thank you to all of the West River Health Services supporters in the Mott area. We appreciate your unwavering ability to answer the call to help us provide top-notch healthcare for your area community. Until next time, please look for the awesome improvements at your WRHS Mott Clinic — which you made happen. Together, we can keep this terrific rural healthcare “close to home.”

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