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St. Luke’s McCall Auxiliary: funding education for 20 years

By Laura Crawford, News and Community
March 22, 2019
Brenna Riggers, a clinical educator at St. Luke's McCall, is finishing her doctor of nursing at Creighton University thanks in part to the support of her auxiliary scholarship.

Twenty years, 180 students and $203,950. That’s the local impact St. Luke’s McCall Auxiliary has had through scholarships awarded to area students studying for careers in healthcare.

Brooke Murphy, a McCall-Donnelly High School graduate, was the first recipient of a $1,000 St. Luke’s McCall Auxiliary Margaret Fogg Memorial Scholarship in 1999. Named in memory of the auxiliary’s first president, the program now awards $15,000 each year.

Murphy, now Brooke Kinzer, finished her bachelor’s degree at Boise State. Her passion for a healthy lifestyle led her back to McCall, where she is now a business owner, wife and mother. She promotes wellness through services at her spa, Spa del Sol, and as a yoga instructor, sharing the physical, mental and emotional benefits of yoga and general wellness.

Over the years, the auxiliary has expanded its reach, and now includes post-secondary students studying for advanced degrees.

Brenna Riggers, a clinical educator at St. Luke’s McCall, joined the education team after working at Seattle Children’s as a pediatric complex care and organ transplant nurse for five years. Last year, she decided she wanted to further her goal to support care and wellness of children in the community.

Thanks to an auxiliary scholarship, she enrolled at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and is now working toward her doctor of nursing degree.

“McCall has always been a special place for me,” Riggers said. “I spent a lot of time here growing up and worked at the hospital while I was in nursing school. To know the auxiliary supports my educational pursuit through the incredible opportunity provided by the Margaret Fogg Memorial Scholarship means the world to me.”

Scholarships are funded by auxiliary fundraisers held throughout the year, including the Holiday Happening luncheon and style show, poinsettia and See’s Candy sales, bunco and the Thrift Shop.

Auxiliary scholarship recipient Caleb Birkinbine is enrolled in Idaho State University's eight-year doctor of pharmacy program. He says watching his parents, St. Luke's employees, influenced him to pursue a healthcare career.

Another student who has benefited is 2015 McCall-Donnelly graduate Caleb Birkinbine.

Birkinbine enrolled in Idaho State University’s eight-year doctor of pharmacy program in Pocatello. He said pharmacy seemed like a natural choice because he was interested in chemistry and wanted a career in health care to help people. Both his parents work at St. Luke’s McCall, and watching them influenced his career choice. He liked seeing how the hospital environment was like a community and that all the departments worked together to care for patients. 

The decision to earn the eight-year degree was made easier because of the support of the scholarship support, which has helped pay for books and a portion of his tuition.

“It relieved a bunch of stress and allowed me to focus on my studies,” Birkinbine said. “It’s meant a lot to me, having the support of the community in helping me with my career goals. I can’t thank the auxiliary enough.”

How to apply

The 2019 scholarship applications are now available at stlukesonline.org/mccallauxiliary, or through the school counselor’s offices at McCall-Donnelly, Cascade, Council and Salmon River high schools. For questions, contact Jennifa d’arcRaven at 208-630-2307.

Applications are due by Friday, April 26, at 5 p.m.

About The Author

Laura Crawford works in the Communications and Marketing department at St. Luke's.