When nurse leadership decided to celebrate National Nurses Week by partnering with Choose 2 Change to host a 5K Run/2 Mile Walk as a “great way to promote wellness, have fun, and also give back to the community,” according to Kristin Salyards, MSN, RN, Director of Women, Infants, and Children’s Services, she did not realize the impact they would make. With the participation of 150 walkers and runners, profits from the first-time race reached a pleasing $1,878.33. The funds were designated to be split between the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) Power Camp and the GAH Foundation tuition reimbursement program, which enables healthcare workers to continue their education to advance in their profession. However, another surprise added more impact to the ambitious Nurses Week project. GAH CEO Rob Schmitt announced that the hospital would match the funds raised so that FCA and the GAH Foundation would each receive the full amount raised by the nurses.
Salyards, a past recipient of the GAH Foundation’s tuition reimbursement program, found it fitting that their efforts also gave the nursing staff to show their gratitude with an “opportunity to give back to the Foundation program that has helped many of us.” In the past fiscal year, the Foundation has provided $48,748 in tuition reimbursement for 32 participants, most of whom are nursing students furthering their education.
Jonathan Berry, FCA Area Representative and co-director of the Gibson City Power Camp, was thrilled with the announcement. “We couldn’t do the program without this generous support,” said Berry, who explained that the extra funds donated by Gibson Area Hospital will help pay for camper scholarships, meals, and other camp gear. The donation also keeps cost down for campers, noting that Gibson City’s camp participation fee is significantly less than other area camps. Scott and Lesley Davis, co-owners of Choose 2 Change Fitness Club in Gibson City, also act as the camp’s co-director and staff member, respectively. They’re excited that the partnership with GAH was successful, and they look forward to the positive effect it will have this summer when over 130 young campers and volunteers gather for the four-day event from June 29-July 2. Co-director Davis noted that scholarships are still available for area kids interested in attending the camp. Applications are available at www.bnfca.org and at Choose 2 Change and the Gibson City Bible Church.