It’s time for the annual Rockies Healthcare Foundation’s (RHF) fundraising raffle! This year’s proceeds will benefit the EMS, which will be under Northern Rockies Medical Center (NRMC) effective Oct. 1. In conjunction with RHF fundraiser, NRMC is kicking off its fundraising campaign to support the EMS. (See pages 12 and 15 of this week’s issue.) First Interstate Bank donated $2,500 to jumpstart NRMC’s fundraising efforts. Pictured are, left to right, Val Vermulm, Chair RHF; Amber Simonds, Retail Manager of First Interstate Bank in Cut Bank; RHF board members Toni Altenburg, Ashley Kavanagh, Stephanie Eney; Jessica Lawrence, EMS and NRMC ER Tech; and Cherie Taylor, NRMC CEO.

Fall means falling leaves and falling temperatures. And fall also means it is time for fundraisers. Rockies Healthcare Foundation (RHF) kicked off its annual fall fundraising raffle last week.This year’s proceeds will go toward continuing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the area.

The  mission of RHF is to “raise funds with which to assist healthcare initiatives in Cut Bank servicing Glacier County in Montana.” And this year’s fundraiser will certainly do that.

“Northern Rockies Medical Center will be taking over full operation of EMS as of Oct. 1,” said Val Vermulm, Foundation Chair. “We always try to choose a worthy cause within the local medical community to give the proceeds to and this year, with all the EMS struggles, it was a no-brainer for them to be the recipient. I truly hope this fundraiser can jump start the EMS and provide some of what NRMC needs to get the EMS back up and running full force again.”

The fundraiser is like those from previous years. RHF board members are selling 250 raffle tickets at the price of $100 per ticket. Two lucky winners will pick their choice of a fun-filled trip from four options. The winning tickets will be drawn after the Parade of Lights celebration on Nov. 20.

“We will be choosing two winners this year, where in year’s past there has only been one winner,” said Stephanie Eney, Director of the Rockies Healthcare Foundation. “We chose four trip options for the two winners to choose from and they will have through 2022 to take their trips and all trips are stateside this year.”

All four trip options include airfare for two. The winner can select from a golf trip to Monterey, Calif; soaking up sun in Key West, Fla.; Chicago, for a theater-dinner trip; or New Orleans for a trip to the famous city of jazz. Most are a three-night stay, with the Chicago trip being two nights. 

Tickets can be purchased from any Foundation Director: (in alphabetical order) Toni Altenburg, Stephanie Eney, Allison Harvey, Ashley Kavanagh, Darryl Peterson, Kristi Rowell, Amber Simonds, Cherie Taylor, Val Vermulm and Roger Wyman. 

Stephanie added, “You can also mail in a donation of any size to support the EMS, in care of  the Rockies Healthcare Foundation, P.O. Box 10, Cut Bank, MT 59427.”

“We know our local community wants to support the EMS but had been concerned before about how and where funds they donated would be spent. NRMC has already set up a completely separate bank account for the EMS funds and that is where all the proceeds we collect from this fundraiser will be going,” assured Val.

We know they will definitely need more than our fundraiser monies, but we are hoping the community can get behind this now that they know the county will not be in charge of the funds.”

 Giving the fundraiser a “jump start” is First Interstate Bank of Cut Bank with a generous donation of $2,500!

“It feels wonderful that First Interstate is in a position to support the community and especially EMS with this donation,” said First Interstate’s Amber Simonds. “As the Retail Manager of this branch, one of my responsibilities is identifying areas in the community that the bank could impact through donations or volunteerism. After looking at the needs of the community, I could not think of a more impactful donation than to give to EMS.”

She continued, “Part of ensuring this community remains one that people can choose to live and work in, is making sure we continue to be able to provide the people of Cut Bank with adequate medical care such as an EMS and a flourishing hospital. My hope is that in supporting EMS, First Interstate is supporting the continued growth and development of this community as one that continues to see generations of families choosing to make it home.”

“When Amber suggested First Interstate would like to donate $2,500 to this project, we felt so excited and humbled and we knew we were going to be off to a great start,” shared Stephanie. 

“It is absolutely awesome that First Interstate Bank stepped up to the plate right away with $2,500!” proclaimed Val. “We can’t thank Amber and the folks at First Interstate Bank enough. I hope it can be a challenge to our other local businesses to donate as well. Both Billman’s stores will not only be buying five trip tickets but will each be writing checks as well. My good ticket selling buddy, the late Ray Christiaens, would always say to me, ‘I’m buying five, you better be too!’ Maybe I just issued my own challenge to others.”


n the past, the Rockies Healthcare Foundation has helped the medical community in numerous ways, including, donating to the new CT machine, helping to replace the call-button system at NRMC, purchased a new EKG machine as well as a scale for the nursing home. 

RHF also purchased new equipment for the Physical Therapy Department at NRMC, paid for repairs on the washing machine for Glacier Care Center and made a donation of over $5,000 to Kalispell Regional Medical Center mammogram bus.

This year, EMS will be the recipient of what the Foundation Board hopes is a very successful fundraiser. 

“Nobody ever wants to ride in an ambulance, but you want to know it is there just in case you ever need it,” concluded Val.

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