Sometimes a simple gesture of gratitude can set off a chain of events that leads to something much greater.
That’s what happened last year, when the Chadwick family made a donation to the St. Luke’s McCall Foundation to support the purchase of an AED for the Valley County Marine Patrol. Automatic external defibrillators are portable units that can help to restore effective heart rhythms, and many institutions have come to rely on their accessibility.
The gift was prompted after the Chadwicks’ teenage son had a cardiac event while paddleboarding on Payette Lake two years ago. Having access to an AED on the patrol boat was a critical first step in saving the teen’s life.
Earlier this year, the Foundation received a request from SISCRA’s (Southwest Idaho Senior Citizens Recreation Association) Willow Creek Campground in Donnelly. The foundation had just wrapped up its annual appeal and had funds available to support a new project.
“We were interested in funding the AED for the campground, but didn’t want it to be a one-off,” St. Luke’s McCall Foundation Director Jenny Ruemmele said.
The Foundation reached out to McCall Fire and EMS Chief Garret deJong and other EMS directors to help them identify organizations that could benefit from having AEDs. Criteria for selection was based on high traffic volume of people and remote locations.
The Foundation decided to purchased eight AEDs for $11,500 and recently began delivering them.
The recipients are Burgdorf Hot Springs, the Cascade Lake sheriff’s boat, the New Meadows Community Center, Meadows Valley Public Library, Ponderosa State Park and Roots Forest School, Secesh Stage Stop and the SISCRA Campground.
“The Foundation is appreciative of the continued generosity of the community,” Ruemmele said. “It allows us to fund equipment that has proven to save lives.”
Laura Crawford works in the Communications and Marketing department at St. Luke's.