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St. Luke’s Blogs

Thank you! St. Luke's sees record amounts raised thanks to communities' philanthropy

In July, the Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation gave $500,000 toward cutting-edge cancer treatment.
By Chris Langrill, News and Community
November 27, 2023

St. Luke’s relationship with the communities it serves is constantly growing and thriving, year after year.

That relationship is strengthened by the fact both benefit from each other. St. Luke’s for its part, continues to treat residents throughout Idaho with patient-centered care while also striving to be on the cutting edge of health technologies.

In turn, the communities do their part by supporting St. Luke’s through philanthropy.

The success of that ongoing relationship was evident in fiscal year 2023 as more than $18.5 million was raised, which represents St. Luke’s Health Foundation’s highest fundraising year.

"While this is a wonderful accomplishment, raising this amount is just a number," said Travis Bradburn, St. Luke’s Health Foundation’s vice president and chief philanthropy officer. “Money is important, but what matters even more is what you do with it, the impact it has on people’s lives. I’m grateful for the impact that our community’s thoughtful generosity is having on the lives of the people we touch.”

Scramble for the Kids raised more than $142,000.

There were many success stories throughout the year, including for some of the community’s youngest patients.

Kid For A Night, a Halloween-style celebration in June, raised more than $800,00, a record amount for the popular annual event. Scramble for the Kids, a golf fundraiser that supports St. Luke’s Children’s, raised more than $142,000.

“Donors and supporters, some over many years, really have expanded the St. Luke’s family and community, and it’s wonderful to see them at events and celebrate them for their generosity,” St. Luke’s President and CEO Chris Roth said. “We would not be able to do what we do for patients and families without these incredibly generous friends and organizations, and that’s increasingly true in these very complicated times that we are experiencing.”

Third-party fundraisers throughout the year similarly support St. Luke’s efforts. Those fundraisers included jersey auctions by the Idaho Steelheads, Master Lee’s Taekwondo Board Break-a-thon, Bluebird Express Car Wash’s Tunnel of Terror and the Caldwell Wrestling Club’s youth tournament.

Of course, St. Luke’s uses philanthropy to remain innovative as it strives to find new ways to serve patients throughout Idaho. One major example was the $500,000 donated by the Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation in the form of a 2-to-1 match. That money helped St. Luke’s complete a $2.5 million campaign for CAR T-cell therapy, which is a way to get immune cells (T cells) to fight cancer by changing them in the lab so they can find and destroy cancer cells.

“We have compelling and innovative things that we’re trying to accomplish,” Bradburn said. “CAR T-cell therapy was made possible for us only because of philanthropy. It will have an impact on people with cancer in all of our St. Luke’s communities.”

Philanthropy is key in all corners of the St. Luke’s Health System, and here are just a few highlights:

  • St. Luke’s Magic Valley: An ongoing campaign for Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Services has raised more than $614,000. The original goal of $750,000 will likely be increased to $1 million.
  • St. Luke’s McCall: Raised more than $730,000 to support an urgent-care clinic for the community. The clinic has been wildly successful – and busy. It has been serving as many as 49 patients per day and is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • St. Luke’s Wood River: Community generosity allowed St. Luke’s Wood River to invest $660,000 in a state-of-the-art Nuclear Medicine Spect Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner. The new technology will expand care and enable the hospital to perform more nuclear medicine scans in the Wood River Valley so that patients will no longer need to travel out of the community for these exams. 
  • St. Luke’s Elmore: More than 400 community donors have invested in a much-needed 3-D mobile mammogram unit. St. Luke’s Elmore and St. Luke’s Magic Valley foundations each agreed to contribute $200,000 toward the project. The unit will serve communities from Mountain Home to Twin Falls, with delivery scheduled for summer of 2024.
Master Lee's Taekwondo in Boise raised more than $20,000 during its "break-a-thon" in which students broke hundreds of boards.

About The Author

Chris Langrill is a writer and copy editor for the St. Luke’s Communications and Marketing department.