Schoolchildren, cancer survivors, folks with a passion for bowling, sewing and cooking, all came together in early April to be celebrated for their generosity and care for their community.
The event? St. Luke’s annual Celebrate Giving reception to honor donors. This year, 230 benefactors were recognized during a dinner and program at Boise State’s Stueckle Sky Center.
The spring tradition gives St. Luke’s a chance to thank those whose generosity makes better care, transportation to appointments, help with medications and needed equipment and other services possible.
In all, 6,814 donors supported patients through St. Luke’s Health Foundation over the past year. St. Luke’s received donations from residents of all states except Kentucky, Rhode Island and West Virginia, with many St. Luke’s employees among them.
Donors this past year included a mother who wanted to give back for the care she and her baby had received. The family, now including a 4-month-old, made their first donation. A 7-year-old dropped by the foundation office with her grandmother to deliver a very special gift of $107.70 that she had raised selling lemonade in honor of her mother, who passed away from breast cancer. One woman has given a total of 116 gifts over the past 30 years. Another couple gives three times a year. And a 100-year-old Oregon man gave to support Air St. Luke’s.
The giving comes in many forms as well, with teens making blankets for patients and others making hats, scarves, stuffed animals, children’s activity kits and other gifts.
“Every donor matters,” Doug Oppenheimer of the foundation board told attendees. “Everybody makes a difference, and small amounts can often be more inspiring than big dollars.”
Generous donors include the Jayden DeLuca Foundation, Boise State Dance Marathon, the Treasure Valley Believe in a Cure bowling team and supportive friends, St. Luke’s physicians, the Bunco Babes game group from the west Treasure Valley, St. Luke’s Auxiliary, the Idaho Elks Association, ON Semiconductor and many, many more.
In all, those in the audience represented the more than $8 million in charitable giving that went to St. Luke’s patients through St. Luke’s Health Foundation last year.“The generosity shown by our St. Luke’s family – leadership, physicians, employees, volunteers – and our community helps preserve and expand vital healthcare services throughout our region, ensuring that family, friends and neighbors receive comprehensive and compassionate care close to home,” St. Luke’s President and CEO Dr. David Pate told the gathering. “Philanthropic gifts inspire hope, healing and health.”
Roya Camp is managing editor and executive communications coordinator for St. Luke’s Health System.