As the first hospital in the Dakota Territory, CHI St. Alexius Health has been serving central and western North Dakota for 135 years as of May 2020. Their Benedictine values, specifically to ‘let all be received as Christ’ is the root of who they are. It has been their guiding value throughout their 135 year history. That value along with striving for outstanding quality of care, providing access to care, and providing new technologies and medical advances in this region has strengthened CHI St. Alexius Health’s legacy.
In order to continue that legacy into tomorrow, Development Director Kilee Harmon works with individuals and businesses to fundraise in an effort to further provide education, formation and resources. “We fundraise for new medical equipment and technology – to provide services that are not currently offered; or, if services are currently offered, we look to enhance those services for the people of this region. We fundraiser in pursuit of that effort, and Night for the Stars is our largest fundraiser of the year,” states Harmon.
Night for the Stars started in 2013 as a black-tie-optional event to highlight the ‘stars,’ or patients, of CHI St. Alexius Health. In their first year, they had just under 300 guests attend the event. Now, the evening gathers between 550 and 650 guests who enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a meal, special entertainment, a silent and live auction, a high-ticket raffle drawing, dance, and more. Since its inception, it has become lovingly known as an adult prom of sorts in the Bismarck-Mandan area.
One of the many community sponsors of the Night for the Stars event includes Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T). “Dakota Community Bank & Trust has been involved with us from the first year, from the very beginning. Over the past several years, they began matching our live auction proceeds up to $12,500. So if we raise $12,500 through the live auction, they match that amount which is very wonderful. Dale Pahlke has also graciously served as our auctioneer the past several years. He plays an integral role in the event’s success and in our event growing,” maintains Harmon.
“Dakota Community Bank & Trust is here for the community. Dale Pahlke and the individuals who work at the bank have all been very generous not only to CHI St. Alexius Health but to many organizations within the community. That just shows the organization’s commitment to this community. They want to ensure that Bismarck, Mandan, and this region, continue to flourish and thrive.”
Each year, the proceeds from the Night for the Stars is donated to a specific area or purpose at CHI St. Alexius Health. Harmon mentions that in the past they have raised funds for the region’s emergency, trauma and radiography services; the neonatal intensive care unit; to purchase the region’s first and only cardiac MRI machine; to advance surgical patients’ care by acquiring urologic and anesthesia equipment to assist CHI St. Alexius Health be the first and only hospital in the state to offer Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP); and by honoring our veterans by funding Hospice’s We Honor Veterans Program, just to name a few. In recent years, they have been able to raise more than $200,000 consistently in net proceeds to benefit these specific advances in health care services or programs.
Referring to the many success stories due to dollars raised from the event, Harmon states, “It is really remarkable. We couldn’t do it without the sponsors and the donors, the people who come to the event, as well as the volunteers, and our star patients, who are willing to share their story with people.”
For 135 years, their mission to receive all of Christ and their determination to provide access to high quality of health care for all, will continue to inspire and guide them for the next 135 years. While healthcare is ever changing and adapting, CHI St. Alexius Health will continue to provide exceptional health care as it focuses to build healthier communities and serve the vulnerable populations. The hopes are that Night for the Stars’ fundraising efforts will add a proactive approach to staying on top of technology and innovative programs and services. For more information on CHI St. Alexius Health’s Night for the Stars event, visit: https://www.chistalexiushealth.org/bismarck-foundation/chi-st-alexius-healths-night-stars.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director