Let me put it this way
By Tina Kitt
Once the town of Wauneta burrows its way into the soft inner workings of a person’s heart, it’s there for a lifetime.
That simple truth is made manifest through the amazing outpouring of support for Wauneta’s nursing home.
From Sioux Street to Pawnee, from Willow to Arapahoe Avenue; from North Divide to South Divide; across the state to across the nation — and points beyond — checks and online donations have rolled in as people have considered (and rejected) the what-ifs of Wauneta without its local nursing home.
Since fundraising efforts were launched via a $1,000 matching donation challenge during the town’s public information meeting, (Thanks, Doc!) contributions have averaged over $40,000 a week. Yes, $40,000 a week.
Volunteers were unsure if enough money could be raised to make the purchase possible. Waunetans and Waunetans-At-Heart allayed those fears with their incredible generosity.
Now organizers are taking the bold step of moving the goalpost a bit further. While $150,000 was the initial goal, it represented the minimum needed to pull the deal off, the minimum needed to save the nursing home and the 60 jobs and 30 residents depending on them.
While the term “moving the goal post” often carries a negative connotation, in this case it is purely an act of faith and good will. The more money that can be raised through contributions to cover expenses involved with the purchase and upgrades needed at Heritage, the greater the likelihood that a municipally owned facility can become established on a solid fiscal footing. If you have thought about joining the effort with your donation, please do so. While the initial goal will be exceeded, each and every dollar raised above that amount is also needed and will be put to good use.
Collective struggle and loss
In a humbling and heartbreaking testament, Wauneta’s collective spirit was witnessed in a valiant yet unsuccessful effort last week as the community literally ran to the scene where a friend and neighbor was in serious trouble.
In the end, nothing could be done to save Rod, but it wasn’t for lack of effort or expertise. The response of all those trying to reach him was awe-inspiring.
The town now grieves with the McMinn/Baker family, as well as with the Einspahrs and Maxfields, unified in sorrow as it was in the battle to save one of Wauneta’s own.