ENTERPRISE — The Hearts for Health Integrated Care Center construction campaign recently picked up a huge financial boost.
A virtual live fundraiser for the care facility, which took place Feb. 6, raised more than $221,000, the second-most raised in annual fundraising for the building — a partnership between the Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness and Winding Waters Clinic — which is under construction in Enterprise and set to be completed late this summer.
It was the fourth such fundraiser — though the first virtual one — and was surpassed in giving only by the inaugural fundraising event, according to Tosca Rawls, Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness public relations and development director.
“The first year, we actually raised $324,000, which was surprising,” Rawls said. “It was the first year Center for Wellness had done any public fundraising.”
The previous three years the event was at the Wallowa Lake Lodge, and last year only brought in about $55,000. Rawls attributed two changes to the fundraising boost this year.
“Going virtual allowed us to reach more people during an event,” she said. “When we were in the lodge in person ... we had 84 guests. This year we were not limited to the size of a location. Virtually, you could join from anywhere as long as you had internet. I believe that is one piece.”
At one time during the event, she noted, it was live on 95 devices. The clip of the event has received more than 400 views on YouTube.
The second reason for the boost, Rawls said, was the community backing for the center, especially during the pandemic.
“They really believe in this project,” she said. “They believe in the integrated care model that will take place in the new building. I believe that during the event we told a compelling story. We were able to create a video for people to watch that (showed) the integrated care model.”
The 97-minute event included the story of Wallowa County resident Kimberly Botts, who shared her struggle with substance and alcohol abuse and triumphs gained through the integrated care model.
The integrated care center will offer a wide range of care options, including everything from behavioral and mental health and substance abuse services to dental, medical and nutritional care.
The construction costs of the center is expected to come in at about $8 million. Rawls said grants are being sought after to help bring in the remainder of the funds.
“I know we’re working hard to avoid going into debt to finish the building,” Winding Waters Clinic CEO Nic Powers said. “The ability to show community support to fund this project makes it more likely that as we reach out to foundations for capital support they’ll want to jump on to support the project.”
Tours of the facility are being planned for the springtime, Rawls said. Those who missed the event but still want to donate to the project can visit the Center for Wellness website, www.wvcenterforwellness.org.