COTTONWOOD — Returning after a three-year hiatus due to COVID, the annual St. Mary’s Health Foundation Mardi Gras Celebration will be held Saturday, March 25.
“It was exactly three years ago, just as we were preparing for this event, that COVID-19 impacted our world, canceling our event as we prepared to face the unknown. We are so excited to host it once again,” said Lenne Bonner, CEO of St. Mary’s Health. “We are even more excited to reveal that the funds raised this year will go to a very worthy cause, a mammography truck of our own, which will enable us to offer greater access to this life-saving screening for our patients and across the region.”
The event will be held at Cottonwood Community Hall starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are available for $50 per person that includes a catered prime rib dinner by RoDonna’s, live and silent auctions, a dessert auction and casino games.
“We are again encouraging our sponsors, and area businesses and individuals, to donate silent and live auction items or packages. This is a great opportunity for you or your business to be recognized publicly for your contribution,” said Kim Johnson, St. Mary’s Health Foundation director. To donate, contact Johnson at 208-962-2100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“As you may know, it can be quite a challenge in our region to ensure access to timely and convenient mammograms,” said Bonner. “St. Mary’s Health and Clearwater Valley Health currently contract with an outside entity for mobile mammography services; however, this service does not meet our patients’ needs, as we are unable to secure an adequate number of days and appointment slots. Due to numerous challenges such as competing priorities and weather, the schedule often changes and entire mammography days are canceled. We are also experiencing a large influx of new families into our communities, and we anticipate even more patients needing this service.”
On this need, Bonner announced the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust awarded a $400,000 grant toward the purchase of a mobile mammography unit.
“This mobile clinic will travel to each of our hospitals and, when feasible, to our remote medical clinics,” she said, “increasing our ability to provide access to this high-demand, life-saving service.”
The grant award is about half of the total project cost, estimated at $964,000. The hospitals and foundations have committed funds, according to Bonner, “however, with the financial constraints of the times, additional funds are necessary to make this a reality. Your support of the Mardi Gras Celebration will help provide greater access to excellent care and specialized services close to home.”