Norfolk, NE: Heritage of Bel-Air Raises Thousands for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Flippin Pancakes      Little Pig      Working the Phones

One of the Visions of Vetter Health Services that Heritage of Bel-Air is trying to fulfill is to have a Quality Reputation by developing important community partnerships in Northeast Nebraska. One of the biggest fundraisers in Northeast Nebraska is an annual radio-telethon for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In fact, Northeast Nebraska raises more money per capita than anywhere in the world for St. Jude. It was an easy decision to jump onboard this wonderful cause. With the guidance of our administrator, Katie Frederick, who had participated in the radio-telethon in the past, we started a month long journey of raising money. We did this by hosting multiple raffles and auctions, holding a large-scale community event, engaging the team members through fun moneymakers, and going to the telethon and working the event.

Hosting raffles and auctions was a very simple way to get as many people involved as possible in our efforts. There were team member raffles held every Friday that included a paid day off, a valentine’s date night, a family game night, and a split-the-pot.
There was also a community raffle for a Traeger grill, an array of fun silent auction items that went until the afternoon of our community event.

Hosting this large community event was a fantastic way to get the community engaged in our fundraiser. It was on a lovely Sunday afternoon, that we opened our doors for a Flapjack Feast. Blueberry, Chocolate Chip, and Regular pancakes were on the menu for a small donation along with savory sausages and cold juice. Up in the front foyer people could toss a pancake as far as they could for chance to split the earnings. A walk through one of our neighborhoods brought guests to the silent auction tables and the large event room where our master leadership-team chefs were flipping flapjacks.

Another way we made this a true Bel-Air family campaign was by hosting an assortment of fun team member fundraisers. On one day, donuts were sold, on another day, there was a break-room nacho bar, and during our all-team meeting was a root beer float bar. One of the most enjoyable money-makers was a kiss-the-pig contest.
In the last week of February it was time to turn in our earnings and present a check to the local radio station that sponsors the telethon.

We were already hosting a 70’s themed party to celebrate Vetter Health Services 40th Anniversary, so there was no better time to bring the radio team in. The cute month-old piglet was also in the building and got his smooches during the party from the losers of the Kiss-the-Pig contest. In the end we raised $4,653 in less than 4 weeks.

The last way we involved our Bel-Air family in the St. Jude efforts was by participating in the telethon itself. On the last Friday in February team members hopped on the Bel-Air bus and drove to the radio station to answer phones of incoming donors. This was the icing on the cake after our month-long campaign.

St. Jude is a place to where the most rare and difficult cases of childhood cancer are treated and the families NEVER receive a bill for their services. Childhood cancer death rates have dropped tremendously since the opening of this wonderful hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Bel-Air team was delighted portray our Vision of Quality Reputation in such a fun way. We are planning on making this a yearly tradition!

Submitted By: Jarad Dahlkoetter, Public Relations Coordinator, Heritage of Bel-Air, Norfolk NE

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