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CHI Health grants benefit eight area first responder departments in five counties
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CHI Health grants benefit eight area first responder departments in five counties

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Eight area fire and rescue departments and Project Serenity received part of a  $66,694 grant from the CHI Health St. Francis Foundation.

The grants, made possible through the foundation’s annual Ticket to Win fundraiser, were announced Oct. 8.

Since 2017, the St. Francis Foundation has awarded over $245,000 in funds to local area emergency first responders departments for unbudgeted lifesaving equipment and training expenses.

These donations have benefited emergency response personnel for Alda, Aurora, Cairo, Central City, Clarks, Dannebrog, Doniphan, Giltner, Grand Island Rural, Greeley, Hamilton County, Hampton, Marquette, Palmer, Phillips, Platte Valley Mutual, St. Libory and Wood River.

Emergency first response departments in Hall, Hamilton, Howard, Merrick and Greeley counties were eligible to apply for Ticket to Win grant funding.

This year’s Ticket to Win awards, include:

-- Alda Volunteer Fire Department, $1,000, rescue equipment

-- Aurora Volunteer Fire Department, $2,919, personal protective turnout gear

-- Cairo Quick Response Team , $7,800, Zoll defibrillators

-- Doniphan Volunteer Fire and QRT, $5,000, LUCAS chest compression system

-- Giltner Rural Fire Department, $2,000, stair chair

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-- Hampton Fire and Rescue, $2,000, stair chair

-- Phillips Volunteer Fire and Rescue, $11,628, Philips Tempus Pro Monitor

-- Wood River Fire and Rescue, $1,000, PRESTAN Professional Series CPR Manikins

Project Serenity at St. Francis also received $33,347 to support the hospital’s efforts in creating a dedicated forensic nurse examiner space where victims of human trafficking, sexual assault and domestic violence can recieve safe and compassionate care.

“Even in a year of unprecedented challenges, we found ourselves fortunate for yet another opportunity to bolster the efforts of our local area first responders through Ticket to Win,” says Melissa Griffith, St. Francis Foundation director. “Traditionally, Ticket to Win provides us with an annual opportunity for St. Francis Foundation and our donors to come together in support of those in our local communities who provide safety and lifesaving services on a daily basis, 365 days a year.

“We understand and commend the challenging work these first responders perform every single day, and these grant awards are a very tangible way for some of the unbudgeted departments to be recognized.

“The projects and vital needs that were outlined clearly reflect the strong level of professional and personal dedication these responders pour into their efforts to keep our home communities safe and healthy. There was so much pride poured into each grant application received.

“This year, Ticket to Win donors not only provided funding in support of local area emergency response teams, but are also lending assistance to survivors of human trafficking, sexual assault and domestic through the Project Serenity here at St. Francis.

“Our Foundation staff have taken on the $200,000 Project Serenity fundraising effort as our own in response to what we identified as a growing need to help support and restore dignity to survivors of human trafficking, sexual assault and domestic violence.

“We’re so excited to see this project nearing the fundraising goal line and could not be more appreciative for the many ways in which community members continue to embrace this difficult topic and for their support of Project Serenity.”

One in six women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime, one in 10 rape victims are male, and every 98 seconds there is another victim of sexual assault.

To learn more about CHI Health St. Francis Foundation, Ticket to Win fundraiser, and/or grant opportunities offered to first response/EMT departments, contact Diana Kellogg at 308-398-5422 or email

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