Photo: Nick Hackworthy, Foundation Board Member awards a $20,000 donation to improve the capacity of local mental health support to Peter VanDusartz, St. Croix NAMI Board Member, along with wine sponsor, John Van Allen, Knotty Vines, Hudson.
Hudson Hospital Foundation’s wine event, sponsored by Knotty Vines, was extremely successful on November 8 at Hudson House Grand Hotel with over 250 people in attendance. The event is in its seventh year and has raised more than $120,000 total for health care programs which includes the 2013 profits of nearly $32,000. “My wife, LeAnn, and I love to sponsor this event each year for our local hospital,” says John Van Allen, owner of Knotty Vines. “It was fun for us to start this event many years ago and watch it grow into a community tradition, which supports not only the hospital but also local healthcare needs.”
Along with Knotty Vines, this community event would not be possible without the great support from other local business partners. Dave Knoke, Knoke’s Chocolate and Stu Hildeman, Comstock Creamery have supported this event for five years in a row by providing samples of their delectable chocolate and artisan cheese. Also joining the partner team this year was Greg and Molly Harris, owners of American Sky Brewery, which gave the event a twist with a beer tasting component.
For its first year, the Hospital Foundation dedicated a portion of the November’s wine event to support an external not-for-profit organization in our Hudson community – St. Croix Valley NAMI. (National Alliance on Mental Illness) The special appeal portion of the evening raised nearly $14,000 for funding to support mental health initiatives locally. “To watch our community raise their hands high to financially support our very small organization was indescribable,” says Pete VanDusartz, St. Croix NAMI volunteer board member and Hudson Hospital employee. “It was at the moment that we knew, as a board, that we’ll always have the support to advance our mission and improve mental health wellness in our region. We are truly grateful to have the Hudson Hospital Foundation partner with our local organizations.”
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1,100 affiliates in communities across the country, including St. Croix Valley in Western Wisconsin, which engages in advocacy, support and education. The Hudson Hospital Foundation will award $20,000 to St. Croix NAMI before year end which will help sustain this small organization for many years.