Need for a van fuels pig roastA roasted pig, cotton candy, popcorn, games and a silent auction will help the Kinnic Health and Rehab center fundraise $20,000 for a new handicap-accessible van.
By: Ashley Hall, News Intern, River Falls Journal
A roasted pig, cotton candy, popcorn, games and a silent auction will help the Kinnic Health and Rehab center fundraise $20,000 for a new handicap-accessible van.
The event will be from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, in the Kinni Rehab and Health center parking lot, 1663 E. Division St. The public is invited.
Since Medicare started to make cuts on their funds in 2008, the rehab center has had to get creative the last four years.
There have been bake sales, garage sales, auctions, plant sales and the pig roast to help them maintain the extra things for its residents.
In past years, the additional fundraising has helped the center build a gazebo and walking paths for the residents. The main event is the pig roast.
“This year we are a little ambitious to raise money for a van,” Patti Miller, CSW and director of social services at the Kinnic Health and Rehab center said.
The pig roast was first prompted by extra money from a staff Christmas party four years ago. They asked themselves, “What could we do for our residents?”
The need for a gazebo was determined and the pig roast was born. The extra money went to the startup costs of the pig. Items were donated for the silent auction and door prizes.
“We were expecting about 30 people, friends and families of the residents, to show up that year,” Melissa McArdle, NHA and director of Admissions and Marketing at the Kinnic Health and Rehab center said. “We had about 500 people come to the event. We were surprised.”
The rehab center fundraised about $10,000 its first year. The second year it raised about $4,000-$6,000 for walking paths.
“We had to do some outside fundraising for the sidewalks,” McArdle said.
There was not a pig roast last year due to new ownership as they were “still in transition last year,” McArdle said.
Grace Healthcare is based out of Chattanooga, Tenn.
The need for a handicap-accessible van has been much desired the last four years. The current van is in rough shape.
“The van is old and breaks down,” Miller said. “It needs repairs and it is not safe anymore.”
For the past four years, the center has been renting school buses to take the residents around town and neighboring cities for activities. The cost of the bus is $150. There are extra charges for the driver and the mileage.
“We are pretty limited with the bus,” Miller said. “We have to make sure we are back before school gets out or do things before school or when there isn’t school. Sometimes we can’t even get one if they are not available.”
The center is hoping to raise enough money at its pig roast to be able to buy the van soon. There are a wide range of activities the center tries to do to accommodate everyone’s interests.
“We have residents as young as 18 and as old as 103 years-old,” McArdle said. “We try and do activities like go to the Star Prairie Trout Farm, shopping, going out to eat and looking at Christmas lights,” Miller said.
To help make the roast successful, volunteers will give generously.
“Everyone donates their time,” Miller said. “Charlie Hanson will be here at 5 a.m. in the parking lot cooking the pig.”
There will be door prizes and a silent auction to help with the fundraising.
One of the big auction items is a two-time, half-hour scenic plane ride over the area from the son of one of the residents who’s a pilot. Other items will be themed baskets, such as tea or wine, to name a couple, donated by local businesses or River Falls residents.
“We will have fun for all ages,” McArdle said.
There will be games for children to partake in along with free food.
The menu consists of: pork; baked beans; chips; bars/cookies; cotton candy; popcorn; assorted beverages; and sloppy Joes (for those who do not eat pork)
The cotton candy, popcorn and beverages will have an extra cost since they are not included in the free meal.
The local band JC Rock will be the entertainment for the roast.
“This is a good way to bring the community together,” McArdle said. “Everyone has a lot of fun.”
If the center does not raise the $20,000 that is needed, it will have other fundraising events to reach its goal.
“We expect this to take about three years to fundraise $20,000,” Miller said. “Hopefully it doesn’t take that long though.”
Attendees do not have to give to the center to be a part of this event. However, individual donations are encouraged, Miller said.
For more information about the pig roast or to donate, call the Kinnic Rehab and Health center at 715-426-6000.