Donors set record at Health Partners event

For the Troy Daily News

PIQUA — For the second straight year, local community leaders came together in a record-setting fund raising effort to support the Health Partners Free Clinic, located in Troy. Auctioned artwork along with corporate and private donations exceeded $28,000 in funds to offset costs to maintain the clinic.

On May 4, nearly 120 charitable-minded Miami County citizens filled the banquet hall at the Piqua Country Club for the Seventh Annual Healing Jar Gala dinner and art auction. The result was more than $20,000 net in overall donations nearly $4,000 more than the amount raised just last year.

For the second year, clinic officials joined with the Piqua Arts Council (PAC) to expand the number of art pieces for the auction. Several local artists donated items to the live and silent auctions.

Health Partners Executive Director Justin Coby reported more than $7,000 was raised during the silent and live auction. He noted that a record 15 different local artists contributed to the event, and a single specific piece donated by artist Jim Witmer of Troy fetched $1,200 in the live auction.

In all, six art pieces were sold by auctioneer Brad Havenar, who has donated his services for the event for several years. PAC Executive Director Jordan Knepper spoke of the artists and their artwork before each item went to live auction.

Coby said the art pieces represented not only the artists’ talents, but their heart-felt giving to the clinic’s cause. He hesitated in mentioning a specific artist since all the works were finely crafted.

“The 2016 Healing Jar Gala was a huge success as an event, fundraiser, and ‘friend’-raiser. The results of this event were reflective of the generosity of our community,” Coby said.

“As a grassroots free clinic (Miami County’s lone free clinic for the past 16 years), we depend on this kind generosity to keep our doors open every year. The outpouring of love and support at the Gala reaffirm the call from the community to continue on with our mission of providing quality healthcare to the uninsured and underserved at no cost.”

Coby reported previous Healing Jar galas have raised money to provide clinic projects and programming. Last year, auction contributions from local organizations totaled $17,000, which was a 130 percent increase over 2014. These funds helped provide medical care valued at $1.8 million for the uninsured and underserved residents of Miami County in 2015.

Last year, the clinic treated 906 unduplicated patients, which equated into 3,359 medical visits. Coby also noted the clinic provided some 2,223 patient lab/diagnostic testing; and 8,654 clinic-dispensed free prescriptions valued at more than $1 million. Overall, the clinic provided $4.32 in medical services for every $1 spent.

Coby noted the corporate contributors included Perrigo Foundation, Wappoo Wood Products, Troy Ford, Trojan Auto Care, Honda of America Mfg., Hemm’s Glass, Koverman Staley Dickerson Insurance, Hartzell Propeller, French Oil, Mobilex, Peak Foods, Spinnaker Coating and Minster Bank.

Dessert for the dinner was donated by The Cakery of Troy.

The guest speakers were Dr. James Burkhardt of Piqua, and JoAnn Barhorst of Tipp City, Certified Nurse Practioner, who was featured in an agency video that can be viewed on the Health Partners website,