Cut Bank area community members, businesses and organizations have stepped up to support Northern Rockies Medical Center’s (NRMC) EMS program with generous donations of money and stock shares in the past three months. As of press time, nearly $85,000 has been raised to support the local EMS program. NRMC took over the struggling operation from Glacier County on Oct. 1.
“After the EMS tax mill levy failed, NRMC and the community knew we definitely needed an EMS program and had to find a way to make it happen,” said Val Vermulm, Chair of the Rockies Healthcare Foundation (RHCF). NRMC knew the first year of operation would be a financial challenge and sought RHCF’s and the community’s support. RHCF hopes to raise $100,000 by year-end and $250,000 overall to support EMS operations.
“When Linda Bruch contacted me about the most recent article, RHCF hadn’t had a meeting since our fundraiser was complete so I could only assume we would donate the net proceeds–approximately $20,000–so that’s what I told her I expected. However, at our December meeting we made the decision to donate the entire $25,000 raised to EMS. RHCF will absorb the cost of the two trips we’re giving away because we believe so strongly in the value of having a viable EMS to serve our community and the surrounding area,” said Vermulm.
First Interstate Bank kicked off the EMS fundraising with its $2,500 donation and shortly thereafter many businesses, Hutterite Colonies and individuals followed suit. Taking the lead of RHCF and First Interstate Bank, Mike and Linda Bruch donated shares of appreciated stock to the cause and encouraged other Cut Bank business owners to also support the EMS. Rick and Glenda Billman, Jeff and Cassie Billman of Billman’s Inc., Brian and LeAnne Kavanagh of the Cut Bank Pioneer Press, Kim and Louis Stoltz of Cut Bank Creek Brewery and Doug and Val Vermulm of Billman’s Home Décor soon followed suit with their donations of money and/or stock.
The fundraising effort continued through downtown Cut Bank as business owners Jackson and Brianne Bell of Bell Motor Co. also contributed to the EMS fund.
“It’s not until something happens to you or your family, you realize how vital the EMS is to a community,” said Jackson. Last year, Dave Bell, Jackson’s dad, suffered a stroke while at work. “It was remarkable how quickly the EMS responded,” recalls Jackson, adding, “in a case like that, time is of the essence and the EMS was there within minutes.”
Jackson continued, “We all know that EMS is a necessary service, but it isn’t until someone’s life depends on it, that reality of how vital EMS is hits home.”
“There are many individuals and businesses who have generously supported this cause and are helping us reach our goal for Northern Rockies Medical Center’s EMS. We encourage you to join us in ensuring our community and our area will continue to have quality, accessible EMS services by giving whatever you can to this effort. No donation is too small and every donation is greatly appreciated,” said Vermulm.
“For those who may not want to write a check but still want to donate, you could also donate stock shares like Bruches and Kavanaghs did. If you have stock shares that you’ve held more than one year that have appreciated in value, you could contribute the securities directly to Rockies Healthcare Foundation and potentially avoid the capital gains tax on the appreciation,” explained Vermulm. “It is imperative to consult your tax preparer before doing this,” stressed Vermulm. “So if you’re looking for a way to increase your 2020 charitable contributions here’s your chance,” she added.
Mail your donation, in any amount to:
Medical Center EMS
c/o Rockies Healthcare
P.O. Box 10
Cut Bank MT 59427