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Bid at this Year’s Dessert Dash!

Funds raised to benefit Fry Healthcare Foundation

By Jillian Chandler

Photo by Alison Henslee

Each year, the Fry Healthcare Foundation (FHF) hosts its annual Festival of Hearts Gala. This is always a much-anticipated event for the community to come together to enjoy a wonderful dinner and auction while showing their support for the foundation.

Due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions, the annual gala will not be able to be held in person, but there is good news! Instead, the Fry Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors has decided to bring their gala favorite Dessert Dash to the community in a fun, socially distanced way at this year’s Festival of Hearts Cupid’s Dessert Dash Raffle.

“COVID might keep us from gathering for our annual Festival of Hearts event, but it can’t take away the importance of continued fundraising for our small community hospital, nor can it dampen our community’s giving spirit!” affirms Lauren Kuczka, marketing and community relations for the Fry Healthcare Foundation.

FHF will be raising funds in 2021 to purchase a new surgical table at a cost of more than $26,000. While the current refurbished surgery table has served its purpose over the last 15 years, it limits the ability of the Boundary Community Hospital Surgery Department to meet the current needs.

“We want to expand our local surgery capabilities and services for the community,” says Surgery Manager April Bennett, MSN RN. “A new surgical table will allow our surgeons the ability to perform more complex procedures with added features like dynamic positioning and the ability to have a clear view for X-rays while performing orthopedic procedures.”

In the past three years alone, FHF has been able to purchase a Bipap Ventilator ($7,000) that has been used extensively during COVID; provided $56,000 in funding that went toward the new 3D Mammogram; and purchased heart monitors ($70,000) that are used throughout the Boundary County Hospital. “These are just a few of the capabilities that the Fry Healthcare Foundation has been able to fund through these past several years, and we are committed to continuing this support into the future through our fundraising efforts,” affirms Teresa Rae, Fry Healthcare treasurer, board member and Festival of Hearts director.

Since its inaugural event in 2017, the Festival of Hearts has raised more than $150,000. “Prior to Festival of Hearts, we hosted Festival of Trees for 20 years and raised over $1 million that helped fund equipment and projects that benefited the health care that Boundary County residents receive,” says Teresa.

“I would encourage the community to still participate because any donation made to our hospital ultimately affects the level of care we provide to our county residents. Just because we can't host the actual event in person doesn't mean the need still doesn't exist.”

Tickets went on sale January 21, with ticket sales continuing through Thursday, February 11. That same day, Grand Prize winners and Dessert Dash winners will be selected. According to Lauren, there are three grand prizes and 26 (as of press time) dessert-dash confections that will be raffled off, with “dashers” getting to choose and pick up their desserts at 4pm on Friday, February 12, at Riverside Auto Center.

“All of our delectable desserts have been crafted by local businesses and individuals who are well-known for their luscious confections, and our grand prizes have been donated by local businesses that always generously support our Annual Festival of Hearts event,” shares Lauren.

Some of the participating businesses who have graciously agreed to donate include Kootenai River Inn, Soul Shine, Mugsy’s and Northwoods Tavern, along with some of the best and renowned bakers in the county. “This will make the ‘dash’ part of this event fun and interesting, as winners have to actually choose which dessert to take home,” shares Teresa.

There’s sure to be a dessert to please any palate, from cheesecakes and carrot cakes, gourmet cupcakes and scrumptious pies, as well as other outstanding dessert selections. The three top prizes, ranging in value from $200 to $600, have been donated by Kootenai River Inn, Super 1 Foods and Sugarplum Floral.

“We would not be who we are without the support of our volunteers,” says Teresa. “We would like to thank Phyllis Karnes and Jenny Fessler for serving on the Fry Healthcare Board for several years, and a special thank you and recognition to Blanche Studer, who has served on the Fry Healthcare Board for over 15 years. Again, thank you to these ladies for being the biggest advocates for the Fry Healthcare Foundation and Boundary Community Hospital, and we wish you the best as you move on to your next adventures!

“We would also like to welcome Dennis Dinning and Ray Spencer to the Fry Healthcare Foundation and know that they will be welcome additions to our fundraising efforts as we move into 2021 and beyond.”

Follow the Fry Healthcare Foundation Facebook page each day, now through February 11, for the featured luscious desserts so you can decide which one you want to “dash” for if you win. Tickets are available from Fry Healthcare Foundation Board Members for a donation of $10 each. Call 208.267.6912 or visit for more information.

“We would like to thank our community for their unwavering support of the Fry Healthcare Foundation,” smiles Teresa. “We can't do what we do without your generous support, and together we can make a difference in addressing our county resident's health-care needs.”

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