Monday, June 25, 2018
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Hospital foundation celebrates a decade

Organization raises funds for scholarships, equipment.

After 10 years of existence, some might say that the Gothenburg Memorial Hospital Foundation has accomplished much.

Formed in 1985, the foundation insures that the community will always have premier medical equipment and facilities today and for generations to come.


With the annual hospital gala coming up on Saturday, Feb. 27, foundation president Luke Rickertsen reflected on the organization and what it does—especially since new directors decided to be more active with fundraising 10 years ago.


More notable events are the gala, which is intended to make the community aware of what the foundation does, and the annual golf tournament.

The tournament raises money for local scholarships which are given to graduating Gothenburg High School students who pursue careers in the medical field.

For the gala, Bobby Layne and his orchestra will return to play at Walker’s Steakhouse and Lounge.

“He’s nationally known and it’s good dance music,” Rickertsen said.

Tickets are $50 apiece with a discount for businesses, industries or individuals who buy a table of eight.

The annual golf tourney in August, a four-member scramble, draws people from around the state who pay $425 to $750 per team to play at Wild Horse Golf Club. Items are donated for drawings.

In addition to local and state sponsors, Rickertsen said a couple have been from companies in Los Angeles and St. Louis with local ties to Gothenburg.

Many of the golfers who play in the tourney are associated in some way with GMH such as people from other hospital foundations like Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, he said.

Recalling donations during his time on the board, Rickertsen said the foundation helped pay for the hospital addition—including a rehabilitation pool and landscaping—and bought numerous pieces of equipment including bassinets, patient chairs, laboratory machines and more.

“We try to manage our funds so can donate from $30,000 to $50,000 each year,” he said.

Assisting the foundation with financial planning are Nate Wyatt of Gothenburg State Bank and Mike Messersmith of First State Bank.

A lesser-known objective, Rickersten said, is letting the community know how it can donate to the foundation through:

  • cash
  • stocks
  • sponsorship of such things as golf teams
  • golf tournament and gala
  • planned giving
  • will provisions
  • charitable reminder trusts
  • life insurance
  • appreciated assets

Within the hospital, he said the foundation has erected a gifting wall that lists the names of people who have donated larger amounts of money.

The foundation is promoting a “gifting tree” which includes the names of people who plan to gift money during their lifetime or after they die.

“It’s a way to get recognized while people are still alive,” Rickersten explained. “The idea is to fill the tree with tons of names as we look into the future and show that Gothenburg supports the hospital long term.”

Anyone who wants to donate to the wall or tree can call Rickertsen at 537-7181 or any foundation member. Donations are tax deductible

Rickertsen acknowledged that getting people to “gift” is difficult.

The foundation board has worked with local attorneys, funeral homes and accountants about letting clients know how they can give to the foundation and will soon offer a Web site.

Rickertsen said the foundation has also started a “Harvest for Health” program where farmers and landowners can make a tax-free donation by gifting commodities.

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