Shoppers at Grocery Outlets in Enumclaw and Bonney Lake may recall receiving Tootsie Rolls from members of the Rainier Council of the Knights of Columbus in return for donations to help support the needs of the disabled on the Plateau.
A portion of the funds are typically distributed to a qualifying agency that provides assistance to the disabled in the local community, said a Council press release. This year, 80 percent of the donations collected during the Tootsie Roll Program were given to the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation's Care Van Program, through the Franciscan Healthcare Foundation and totalled $300.
The other 20 percent were given to the Special Olympics in accordance with the Council's motto: "we can make a difference in the lives of our disabled brothers and sisters."
According to the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation, the Care Van program was first established in 1987 to provide free rides to anyone who needed to get to a local hospital, pharmacy, or medical professional's office. It was purchased to support then Enumclaw Regional Hospital. The service ran through until August 2010 when it was taken out of service due to limited resources. The hospital became affiliated with Franciscan Health System in 2007.
The new St. Elizabeth Hospital opened in February 2011 and that August, the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation asked Franciscan for ownership of the Care Van as a way to continue serving the community. Last November, the Foundation received the van, along with a $15,000 Franciscan Health System grant to initiate the program, which started up again in March of this year.
To ride: Children under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The van is not equipped with car seats so the parent must supply their own car seat. Click here for more information about the service, van accommodations and scheduling directions.
Want to give back? Buy a gallon of gas for $5 (or more) for the van! You can donate on the Foundation's website, calling 360-802-3206 or stopping by the office at 1174 Myrtle Avenue (suite 103).