By David Palmer
The Cullman Times
Cullman’s Good Samaritan Health Clinic serves the needs of hundreds of uninsured area residents.
The valuable medical services are funded directly by community donations, which under the nation’s economic hardship have declined.
But this weekend, Good Samaritan’s major fundraiser aims to bring the financial relief needed to continue the clinic’s service to the community.
A silent auction will be hosted by the Good Samaritan Board of Directors at 6 p.m. Saturday at The Rotunda. A variety of items have been donated for the auction, including a centerpiece attraction from the Woodworkers Guild of Cullman County.
With 300 hours of work invested in the project, Guild members crafted a detailed doll house for the auction.
“The details the Guild members put into this are incredible. It’s stunning when you see it,” said Kelly Lindsey, director of Good Samaritan. “It’s a must-see and it’s wonderfully crafted from the interior rooms to the hand-made furniture.”
Good Samaritan handles 4,500 to 5,000 patient visits per year, providing medical services without the use of taxpayer dollars, said Jim Weidner, chairman of the Good Samaritan board and chief executive officer of Cullman Regional Medical Center.
“Serving on the board and as chairman this year has been an incredible experience. Good Samaritan accomplished what the government is trying to do with the national healthcare initiative, except there is no tax money involved. The community has been tremendously supportive of the clinic and its services,” Weidner said.
Because of the sluggish condition of the economy in recent years, Good Samaritan is seeing an increase of patients and a decrease in contributions, Weidner said.
“That’s what happens when the economy is tough. This fundraiser is what makes or breaks the clinic for the year,” Weidner said. “Based on the history of past events we hope to raise $30,000 to $40,000 this year.”
In addition to the contributions of the community, CRMC subsidizes the cost of a nurse practitioner at the clinic and provides free lab and diagnostic services for patients who come through the clinic.
“Good Samaritan is a safety net for those who don’t have medical coverage. If Good Samaritan didn’t exist many people who need thorough medical followups would not get the care they need,” Weidner said.
Tickets for the silent auction and activities planned Saturday at The Rotunda are $150 per couple. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door the night of the event. A couple that brings a second couple to the event can pay $100 for admittance.
Items have been donated for the auction from area businesses and craftsmen for a wide range of purposes, from home decorating, jewelry and recreation.
For more information about items at the auction, ticket information, and the services of Good Samaritan, contact Lindsey at 256-255-5964.