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February 18, 2013

Good Samaritan gets donation from Lions; dinner planned for additional help

CULLMAN — Cullman Lions Club president Steve Cartee sees an opportunity to build a healthier community through the Good Samaritan Clinic.

The non-profit clinic located in downtown Cullman provides regular healthcare for uninsured residents in the area. Cullman Regional Medical Center’s chief executive officer, Jim Weidner, has noted many times recently that Good Samaritan is key in reducing emergency room visits for standard healthcare needs. In fact, the hospital refers patients to the clinic for regular checkups and many medical procedures typically performed by a primary care physician.

In the spirit of opening eyes to the value of Good Samaritan in the community, Cartee and the Lions donated $5,000 recently to the clinic. The Lions’ upcoming “Fish & Ham Dinner,” Feb. 23, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Cullman Middle School cafeteria, may yield another large donation to the clinic.

“I can’t think of a better place to put our efforts than Good Samaritan,” Cartee said. “I think if the community was more aware of what the clinic is providing for our uninsured neighbors in the area, we would see more people come forward to help. We want to help spread that word and offer our support,” Cartee said.

Kelly Lindsey, director of Good Samaritan, said the Lions Club’s assistance comes at a crucial time for the community.

“We have the services here to help people. And with CRMC sending patients here for primary care, we can meet critical healthcare needs in the community,” Lindsey said. “We’re grateful to the Lions for including us in their generous giving.”

Cartee said he has become more familiar with the costs of healthcare because of the national debate and devoting some of his time to the Good Samaritan board.

“The costs are so much when someone goes to the emergency room for care. Good Samaritan takes a tremendous burden off the hospital, but at the same time you have CRMC’s support for Good Samaritan in making sure that patients are able to receive certain tests,” Cartee said. “We hope we can repeat a donation like this again; that’s why the upcoming dinner is so important. The profits go back to the community.”

The cost of the Feb. 23 dinner is $10 per plate and includes a choice of catfish filet or ham, baked potato, slaw, hushpuppies, dessert and drink. Diners may eat at the school or ask for a carry-out order. A drive-through will be available on the north side of the cafeteria.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance from Lions Club members. Local businesses selling advance tickets include Rennard’s Gallery, The Brandin’ Iron Restaurant, Ed White Jewelers, Doug Doggett Jewelers, The Rental Place, Ponder Wrecker Service, Peek Auto Parts, Business Solutions of Cullman, Cullman Veterinary Hospital, and East Side Barber Shop.

For additional information, visit the Lions website at cullmanlions.com.

* David Palmer may be contacted at dpalmer@cullmantimes.com or 256-734-2131, ext. 213.

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