Hope Center in Pratt celebrates with associates

Fran Brownell
Rev. Scott Powell, president of the Hope Center in Pratt board of directors, prepares to speak to associates and guests at the annual Hope Center Gala, held January 26 in Pratt.

Hope Center board members, employees, guests and associated community organization representatives celebrated the past year's successes and those of its partner programs, including Agape Clinic, Hope Closet and Circles, at its Sixth Annual Gala Sunday evening, January 26, at the Pratt National Guard Armory.

“We are blessed to have so many great agencies and volunteer groups that we wanted to honor them as well tonight,” Hope Board President Rev. Scott Powell told the gathering of about 100 attendees who share in providing a hand-up when needed.

Pratt residents are served by over 100 resource groups, according to Powell, who said Hope Center, located at 314 South Main, was established in 2013 to give individuals and families who needed help a place to start in seeking resources.

Pam Ford has headed Hope Center as director since succeeding Jeannette Gaider a year ago.

Speaking on behalf of Agape Clinic, Anita Twiner reported that during 2019 Agape Clinic volunteers provided $212,00 in free medical services, $8,500 in medical testing and $575,000 in medications to clients served.

“Overall, in the whole year, we have saved $798,000 for the City and County of Pratt,” Twiner said.

Twiner credited volunteers for the success of Agape Clinic, which last year served 235 patients, including 68 new patients.

“Agape Clinic could not run without our volunteers,” Twiner said.

Volunteering fulfills a human desire to make a contribution to the community which is a primary goal of volunteers, said Twiner, who cited results of a nationwide poll.

Those polled highlighted benefits of volunteering as getting their minds off a chronic illness, lowering stress and improving their mood.

“So many of you volunteer in so many organizations,” Twiner told the group. “You bring your skills, your advice, your experience, your friendship, leadership, so many things to those organizations. You give your time, that’s what’s important.”

Powell also recognized Lisa Hart who directs the Medicare Marketplace with office space at Hope Center and spotlighted the Medical Loan Closet at Hope Center, with available equipment from knee scooters to oxygen to walkers and medical beds.

“People can get those for nothing to rent,” Powell said.

Powell also called attention to other community resources, including Pratt County Food Bank, Bread of Life and Paper Pantry and said that 14 local church congregations partner  with Hope Center to provide operating expenses for its programs and staff and that City of Pratt provide utilities.

Hope Center raises money for its programs through its the annual Season of Hope Benevolence Fundraiser.

“One hundred percent of the Benevolence Fund stays here in the community.” Powell said. “One hundred percent of the Benevolence Fund goes to people in need. There’s no administrative expense take off that fund.”

Giving credit to volunteers in attendance, Powell said, “ Thank you for your heart, your contributions, your impact on the community and thank you for partnering with us and coming alongside this vision that we can do more together than apart.’”

Serving with Powell on the Hope Center Board are Stephanie Becker, Tiffany Ailstock, Porter Loomis, Glenna Borho, Karen Pinkall, Jeanette Siemens, Tim Branscom, Sheryl White and Rev. Mike McGovney, who holds office as vice president.

The chicken dinner was catered by Connie Oltmanns, and members of the Pratt High School JAG Class served as wait staff while John Ford delivered prizes of cinnamon rolls and bierocks to lucky raffle ticket holders.