Anonymous Grand Elk couple matches funds | Plank by Plank to refloor gym in Kremmling Wellness Center
by Meg Soyars
Spring B.A.S.H., Middle Park Medical Foundation’s 6th annual fundraiser, offered a lively night of food, drinks, a live auction, music, and dancing! This was a celebratory gala, but also served a deeper purpose: to raise funds for Middle Park Health (MPH) as they expand their health care system to provide superior service to Grand County.
MPMF’s Spring B.A.S.H. took place on Saturday at River Run Resort in Granby, where sponsors, guests, and medical staff enjoyed dinner, several keynote speakers, dancing in front of a live band, and an enthusiastic auction!
John Clatworthy, the auctioneer, kept everyone on the edge of their seats with paddles raised.
Clatworthy exclaimed how happy he was to serve MPMF as their auctioneer. “You have a great community here!” he said.
“I understand and appreciate the challenges of rural health. You folks do a great job, and you should be applauded for being here tonight.”
Auction items included an array of excursions: (1) Private Tour & Tasting at Fraser Valley Distillery, sold for $1,000; (2) World Class Elk Hunt at Bear Mountain Outfitters, sold for $4,200; (3) Cabin Getaway & Guided Fly Fishing with Angler’s Covey, sold for $1,700; (4) Five Nights at Casa Vista in Belize, sold for $4,400; (5) One week stay at Hotel Flamingo in Cozumel, sold for $5,000. The auction culminated in a paddle raiser where anyone could support MPMF’s scholarship fund. All generous proceeds from the auction were matched by a local Grand Elk couple. “So double bang for your buck!” said Andy Radzavich, Executive Director of MPMF, who organized the event. Radzavich described how the proceeds will help the community stay happy and healthy. B.A.S.H. stands for ‘Building a Superior Hospital’ and MPMF is doing just that. “We talk about building a community, not just in Winter Park or not just in Kremmling, but Grand County as a whole,” Radzavich said.
He added that one of the Foundations top priorities is to remodel Kremmling’s Wellness Center Gym to better fit the needs of the town. “Kremmling doesn’t have a YMCA or a gymnastics program like we might have grown up with, but they deserve it,” Radzavich said. “We’re embarking on a program called ‘Plank By Plank’ to raise money for a new gym floor there, and revamp it to be open for the public.”
Plank By Plank’s goal is create an extracurricular space and provide new athletic programs for the whole community. Other strong priorities are to enhance infusion capabilities in the new addition at Granby.
This includes dedicated rooms for infusions and new infusion chairs. “Looking toward the future, we also want to build a hospital in Fraser/Winter Park,” Radzavich said. “It’s going to take a lot– a lot from us, and from you, and from the community. We’re going to grow together.”
Last but not least, Radzavich added how MPH spearheaded the successful Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in Grand. “From January to June, us, as well as other organizations across the county, got most of the county vaccinated who wanted the vaccine!” he exclaimed. “We mostly relied on volunteers and you guys did a great job!”
Volunteers are an integral part of Medical Park Health’s success, and B.A.S.H. celebrated their dedication. The event was certainly a night to remember, including many memorable speeches. Aside from Radzavich, the event’s speakers included: MPMF Board Chair Jeff Miller, Board Member Kim McMahon, MPH CEO Jason Cleckler, and Kayla Boyd, MPH Director of Quality, Risk and Infection Prevention.
It is amazing to think we are growing during Covid’s challenges, but we are, and Grand County is growing too,” CEO Jason Cleckler told the crowd. “I’ll be the first to say we didn’t do this alone. What makes it easier is the team you have you around you.” He went on to thank the many partners and staff members that have assisted in MPH’s growth.
“This is an amazing group of people who could literally work anywhere, but they chose to work here,” Cleckler continued. “They believe in our mission of providing quality care to patients in the community we serve. They make sure we focus on the patient experience, but also the employee experience.” MPH is moving from “good to great, or if you’d prefer, ‘grand,’” Cleckler joked at the end of his speech, to groans and laughter from the crowd.
Kayla Boyd, a recent recipient of MPMF’s scholarship, was the final speaker of the night. She spoke about her grandparents, Walden ranchers who were forced to relocate to the front range when their health failed and they needed access to the city’s comprehensive care. But even after moving, they still called the mountains home. “The mountains are a special place and a lifestyle that few seem to appreciate anymore,” Boyd said. She was inspired to serve the mountain community at the Kremmling hospital. She knew that in Kremmling, she could help elderly patients maintain their rural lifestyle, rather than having to relocate.
“I told you all about my family because that’s what we are here, family. We’re here to keep our community safe, healthy, and protected,” Boyd added. “I think of my grandparents, and of your grandparents. Or the ranchers that I pass every week on my drive to Kremmling. I want to help keep them doing what they love and live for. I want to support them to stay here as long as they can.”
B.A.S.H.’s contributions that night helped others, like Boyd, succeed in the healthcare profession so they could, in her words, “transform healthcare to better fit the needs of patients as they define it.” Boyd explained that rural communities deserve access to great healthcare and accessible wellness facilities, just as major cities do. “We all deserve to feel like someone believes in us to go out into the world and make it a better place,” she said. “Tonight, whatever contributions were made, they were made through believing in others.”