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KRH Foundation honors donors at Star Quilt Society Banquet

In just the last few years, philanthropy at Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) has helped fund numerous large scale projects such as the new Emergency Room, A.L.E.R.T. helicopter, and Montana Children’s facility. Each year, the KRH Foundation honors their donors with a special ceremony called the Star Quilt Society Banquet. The Star Quilt Society is made up of donors who have given over $1,500 to the Foundation over the past year. This year 212 members were invited to the ceremony.

At each banquet, donors who have given over $50,000 dollars cumulatively are honored with a handmade Star Quilt. The Star Quilt has been a long-standing tradition amongst many Native Americans, symbolizing honor and is used by KRH in the same way. The first quilt was given to Jerry and Jane Winkley in 2005. This year, the following recipients were recognized with Star Quilts:

  • Julie and Summerfield Baldridge
  • Diamond Plumbing and Heating, Inc.
  • Barbara Hall Barz
  • Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • Luther King Capital Management
  • Dr. Karen N. Perser and Dr. Sydney R. Lillard

At the event, Tagen Vine, president of the KRH Foundation and Dr. Melissa Hulvat, gave a presentation for the newest Foundation project: The funding of a new mobile mammography coach. In 2008, KRH introduced the Winkley Women’s Center, a mobile mammography unit, with the goal of providing mammograms to those in rural communities. The mobile coach was named for local resident, philanthropist and breast cancer survivor Jane Winkley, whose generosity made the coach possible. During its eleven year tenure, the Winkley Women’s Center racked up 2,800 miles a month serving women from Eureka down to Polson, and multiple other communities along the hi-line as far as Malta. Countless women received regular checkups thanks to the Winkley Women’s Center and, as a result, many cases of breast cancer were detected early enough to treat quickly. In all, more than 21,000 screenings were performed aboard the coach and 160 cancers were detected. Jane Winkley always said that if the coach were to save just one life, it would be worth every penny. It clearly did that and much more.

Over a decade later, the Winkley Women’s Center’s 2d technology is outdated and the coach itself is no longer operable after 325,000 miles. In order to maintain the mobile mammography service, the KRH Foundation has begun raising funds for a new coach equipped with the newest 3d mammography technology. The project will require just over a million dollars. The Foundation is already beginning to see donations come in from the communities that it serves. At this year’s Lewis & Clark Festival in Cut Bank, three young girls took it upon themselves to raise money for the new coach by selling baked goods. Together they raised $109.50, something that is very dear to their community. Inspired by this story, donors have already begun sending matching donations to the Foundation in increments of $109.50

To donate to the KRH Foundation’s mobile mammography fund, visit krh.org/foundation or call 406-751-6930.