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Food and fun for a good cause

Good Sam holds annual benefit

September 30, 2018
Jennifer Astello - Correspondent , Estherville News

People gathered together for a night of good food, good music and guest speakers, all in the name of Good Samaritan Society of Estherville last Thursday.

Each year an annual benefit dinner is held. Speakers, volunteers, employees and residents express their gratitude for the generosity of so many people that help make Good Samaritan Society what it is.

Good Samaritan Society is a rehabilitation center that provides many services to the community. Services include: post-hospital rehab, specialized memory care, long-term care, outpatient therapies and hospice care.

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This year's Annual Benefit Dinner on Sept. 27 was a big hit. Area businesses large and small sponsored the night's event.

A few grateful people spoke of how The Good Samaritan Society changed their life and their families' lives. One speaker explained Good Sam cared for his mother when she was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Good Samaritan Society focuses on getting the patients rehabilitated so they can go back home. Over half of admissions go home.

"Therapy programs have changed from, let's say 30 years ago," said Charlie Bigelow, VP Business Development Outreach Manager at Prairie Rehabilitation Services. "People came to stay 30 years-ago, but over the past 10-15 years things have changed. We push people to get home. We want to push people out of the system and get them back home."

It is a group effort by all staff and volunteers at Good Samaritan Society.

"It takes a team to get people home," said Gail Blocker.

Blocker started working at Good Sam in 1981 and will be retiring next month. Blocker gave her gratitude and prayed over the meal that was served.

The Itty Bitty Boji Band serenaded the crowd with tunes from Ray Charles, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Johnny Cash during dinner time.

"I want to thank the community for supporting Good Samaritan," said Jo Planting, Senior Housing Manager and Resource Development Coordinator. "You know, you always hear that term, it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to take care of our elderly. There are so many different ways that people can help from line staff, to volunteers, donors, there is always something."

If you are interested in becoming part of The Good Samaritan Society through donations, or volunteering your time or talent contact, or if you or a family member needs specialized rehabilitation, call The Good Samaritan Society at: 712-362-3522.



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