No one really knows how many miles have accumulated on the odometer. But everyone at SunPorch of Dodge City knows the long-term-care residence needs better transportation.
This is why SunPorch will kick off a fundraising campaign with a Gumbo Lunch at noon on Saturday, March 2, in the residents’ dining room. The cost is $5 per person; reservations are appreciated but not required.
"It is so important to have reliable transportation for our elders," said Debbie Allen, marketing and community liaison. "Since weather is often a factor, travel is prohibited during very hot and very cold weather. The safety of our elders is our number-one priority."
The vehicle that must be replaced at the non-profit entity is a 2005 OS Ford E 350.
It is not reliable for long-distance trips to Wichita for medical appointments with specialists; in addition, it is not economical for one-person trips to doctors’ offices in town, Allen outlined.
SunPorch actually needs two vehicles, Allen noted. One would replace the Ford that is used for various outings.
"We also would like to have a minivan with a lift," Allen said. "A van is easier to maneuver and the gas savings would really add up."
Allen anticipates a used minivan in good condition with low miles might cost about $25,000.
Cash donations are always welcome, as are in-kind gifts for a silent-auction fundraiser. Future fundraising events will be announced later.
"We also are researching state grants," Allen said. "However, there is a lot of competition for these funds, which would replace the old bus. And they often require at least a 20 percent match, which is where in-kind contributions can help."
Donations are tax deductible because SunPorch is a 501c3 organization.
"We trust the community will support us in this campaign," Allen said. "Local and area residents understand the importance of quality long-term care for our elders, and reliable transportation plays a huge role.
"Better transportation options will enhance safety and comfort. Our elders deserve no less."
For more information, contact Allen by calling 620-227-7512.