By Tim Linscott
It was a night to crown Mr. Perkins County, support Perkins County Health Services and shine a light on the many positives happening in the county.
A gala was held Friday, Jan. 3 at the Perkins County fairgrounds and the sold out event featured a silent and live auction.
The proceeds from the Mr. Perkins County campaign, after expenses, raised approximately $68,657.
Of the amount raised, $20,000 was designated for new immunoassay analyzer in the lab, $2,500 for new radiology equipent and $2,500 for the new chapel.
The silent auction brought in $4,190 and the live auction brought in $8,250.
The project will expand the hospital with upgrades to the heating and cooling systems, create single occupancy rooms with private bathrooms and showers; labor, delivery, postpartum rooms with whirlpool tub and showers; expand the dietary, lab, and radiology departments; increase accessibility for the disabled and add an aquatic therapy pool.
The Mr. Perkins County competition started in July and at the gala the first-ever Mr. Perkins County was crowned with Steve Loeffler named to that title.
Loeffler was Mr. January.
Pinnacle Bank, a major sponsor for the gala, was represented by Rod Cornelius, who asked all Mr. Perkins County participants in attendance to tell what they love about Perkins County and why they love living here.
Loeffler explained that when he moved to Grant in 1975 he became a Plainsmen and met his wife, Chris.
Mr. Perkins County kicked off with calendars printed as a fundraiser for the PCHS Foundation. Various other activities were planned throughout the year as fundraising events for the hospital expansion, including the Mr. Perkins County participants serving as waiters for an evening at 310 Central, helping with the county fair breakfast and the Celebrate Perkins County Banquet, PCS homecoming volleyball game and the Fall Festival at Adams Bank.
The other participants in the Mr. Perkins County competition were: Glen Stanek, Terry Sis and Mike Perlinger (Elsie); Nick Ross, Dave Jantzen and Chet Harger (Madrid); JJ Long and Derek Wilson (Grant) and Glen Karst, Dave Schmitt and Steve Tucker (Brandon/Venango).
Each participant in the Mr. Perkins County campaign was responsible to raise support for the PCHS expansion project. Loeffler raised $22,698.01 for the project and runner-up, Terry Sis, raised $9,961.01.
Jody Snogren, director of the PCHS Foundation, was just overwhelmed that tickets to the gala sold out quickly and the community came out to help further the cause of top-notch medical facilities in the county.
“It is just overwhelming and wonderful,” Snogren said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better turnout. I am just so happy, it was wonderful.”
Plans are to hold the gala every-other year due to the many months of planning required to put on an event of that magnitude, but Snogren said the foundation board will make the final decision.
A golf tournament in the years between the gala has been discussed by Snogren and the other organizers of the event.
All nine foundation board members helped plan the event with an additional four-person decorating committee helping turn the fairgrounds hall into an elegant ballroom.
“There are many events and campaigns that take place quietly during the year to benefit the health services,” Snogren said. “This event took 12 months to plan and an incredible amount of work in the last six months.”
Snogren felt the candidates of Mr. Perkins County did a wonderful job of promoting the place they live.
“The campaign was about community pride and joining together to support a common goal,” Snogren said. “I would like to thank the candidates and their families for all the hard work and for being such good sports. There is no community like Perkins County to step up and work together to make life better for this generation and the next one.”