Montrose Help4Hope closes out program with donation to Montrose Memorial Hospital

Left to right: Leann Tobin, Dr. Mary Vader, Mike Brezinsky, Kye Hall, Erin Skees, Alfred Gilchrist, Jane Marie Amundson, Tonya Martin, Tonya Maddox and Sara Plumhoff pose for a photo to commemorate a donation from Montrose Help4Hope.

In its last community donation, Montrose Help4Hope, a component fund of the Montrose Community Foundation (MCF), donated 70 gift cards — worth $55 each — to Montrose Memorial Hospital on Thursday, set to be distributed amongst the hospital’s frontline workers.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the overall success of the program and to be able to close it out with a sizable donation to our local hospital,” Tonya Martin, Help4Hope committee member, announced in a press release.

The program launched in June last year and provided meals for families in need, essential workers, as well as revenue for local restaurants, during the pandemic. Local business owners and philanthropists were keen on helping the community as financial uncertainty became prevalent due to the effects from the pandemic.

The effort concluded in October, though additional funding after the program’s closure opened an opportunity for the committee members, who opted to provide meals for healthcare and essential workers and support local restaurants, according to a press release.

“We did this with the Helping Hands fund, which is another fund, and we’re giving them to our frontline workers who have been tireless through this journey,” Montrose Memorial Hospital Chief Marketing Officer Leann Tobin said on Thursday.

“It was very important for our frontline workers to continue to understand how much we appreciate them,” Martin said.

The program — including Thursday’s donation — infused more than $60,000 into the local economy, and supported local restaurants and supplied 4,660 meals to community members, with about a third of the cards distributed to essential and healthcare workers (local nursing homes, childcare facilities and home health companies were distribution sites).

During the program’s launch, Montrose County School District invited school district families impacted by furloughs or layoffs to take advantage of the offer while Help4Hope gave cards to MCSD food service staff for their work handing out meals at food pick up sites during the shutdown last spring.

Help4Hope received grants from local businesses and individuals, in addition to Colorado foundations. The local Alpine Bank, the program’s first sponsor, gave $5,000 to the project, and the City of Montrose contributed $30,000 to the effort, which went to families and individuals who faced food insecurity.

“We’re happy to give back to people who have been here for everyone in our community,” Alpine Bank Director of Community Outreach Jane Marie Amundson said.

“Finishing out the Help4Hope program by giving gift cards to the staff at the Montrose Memorial Hospital was a perfect way to spend the final funds,” the committee said in the release.

Along with Amundson and Martin, Tonya Maddox (Our Town Matters), Don Vincent (Stone House), Sara Plumhoff (Montrose Community Foundation), Sarah Fishering (Montrose County, and Fishering also helped design the Help4Hope website), Bethany Maher (City of Montrose) and Casey Corrigan Reichmann made up the Help4Hope Committee, and all were volunteers.

The grants, donations and checks were all run through the MCF (a fiscal fund), with the cards coordinated through local service providers — Hispanic Affairs Project, Region 10, MCSD, Grace Community Church, Hilltop, PIC Place and WIC/Montrose County HHS.

Colorado Boy, Camp Robber, Fiesta Guadalajara, Jimmer’s, the Stone House, Rose Bowl, Remington’s at The Bridges and Hiro’s participated in the program during its run.

Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press.

Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press

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