Access to medical care isn’t something Montanans take lightly, especially in remote areas hundreds of miles from the nearest major city. Wolf Point, although a relatively small town, acts as a medical hub for Roosevelt County and the surrounding counties of Daniels, Sheridan, and McCone. As such, the citizens of Wolf Point (and the surrounding area) recognize the importance of maintaining medical facilities for the good of the region. In 1980, the Wolf Point 100 Club was founded to provide support for its local health care entities.
“It’s one hundred dollars a year to be a member,” explains former club president Shirley Zimmerman. “These funds are used to support the Faith Nursing Home, Trinity Hospital, Listerud Rural Health Clinic, and the Volunteer Ambulance Service.”
Every year, these four entities supply the club with a prioritized “wish list” of medical equipment, supplies, and services that they need help paying for. These may include big ticket items like specialized heart monitors and ambulance radios, or smaller contributions such as song books for nursing home residents. The club board goes through these lists to determine how to spend its members’ funds to enhance the quality of life in the region. Since its foundation, the Wolf Point 100 Club has poured over $600,000 into these entities.
“In 2017, we were able to pay for everything on all four lists,” says current president Tammy Bartel. “It’s very rewarding.”
In recent years, the Wolf Point 100 Club has maintained approximately 100 memberships annually, in addition to memorial donations, which people make in honor of departed loved ones, and grants.
“The larger the number of people willing to contribute, the more we can accomplish,” says Bartel.
She explains that the club is exploring non-traditional fundraising outside of annual membership funds. At the 2017 Wild Horse Stampede, the club developed a plan to auction a handful of uniquely decorated chairs—an event that far exceeded anyone’s expectations.
“We planned to have six to ten chairs, but 35 to 40 were donated to be auctioned,” explains Bartel. “Some were painted. One was embellished with hardback book spines. They were all novel ideas.”
The auction was a big success, and the club plans to host something similar in 2019. Unique fundraising efforts like this allow the Wolf Point 100 Club to do even more to ensure quality health care in the region.
“We beg and give and beg and give,” laughs Zimmerman. “It’s a good organization, and I hope people continue to support it because it does so much good.”
“It’s been cool to see how the community is dedicated to this organization. That’s encouraging to me,” says Bartel.
She adds that the club isn’t just about raising funds; it’s about raising morale too. When everyone unites for a common goal, it’s emotionally invigorating.
“In small communities, you have to care enough to share,” she says.