Annual Fundraiser Raises Money for Waupaca Rural Health Initiative

The Waupaca County Rural Health Initiative recently raised over $10,000 to be used for services for farmers in the county.

“The farmers that I see are truly appreciative of this service,” said Shell Kaczorowski, Rural Health Initiative nurse. “Many times they are too busy to take the time to go to the doctor or they cannot afford the screening because of high insurance deductibles or no insurance. I have some wonderful success stories in my short time of being the RHI RN.”

All of the proceeds from the 2nd Annual RHI Wine and Cheese Tasting event are used for services like kitchen medicine, in which nurses can go to a farm in Waupaca County and do health risk assessments and other preventative services.

The event featured wine and cheese tastings, silent auction, walking games and more. Last year the event sold nine corporate tables and this year 17 were sold. “It’s just really a fun social event,” said Rhonda Strebel, executive director, Rural Health Initiative, Inc.

The event also creates an awareness. “Other than raise funds that night, it helps people to become aware of our program and what we’re trying to do,” said Strebel.  

Jacqueline Suehring, personal banking officer at Premier Community Bank in Marion, has chaired the event for the last two years. “I have met many community members that are very passionate about the RHI,” she said. “They are spreading the great news of RHI in Waupaca County. Many farm families have been able to use this service in the last year.” 

The kitchen medicine service is for all farm families and their employees. Kaczorowski recently added four more families to her caseload, including Hispanic workers. “They were happy with the service and asked me to go see their wives tomorrow,” she said. “Then a third worker came in who did not need services and I will be seeing his wife too.”

Kaczorowski is glad awareness is spreading, thanks to word of mouth and fundraisers like the Wine and Cheese Tasting event. “When I began I was truly worried about getting people to join in the program but, as people get to know me and the word spread that my services are available to them free of charge, the phone is now ringing,” she said. “It is nice to have them call me for an appointment.”

To make an appointment for a kitchen screening, contact Shell Kaczorowski, Rural Health Initiative Nurse, Waupaca County, at 920-538-3936 or visit www.wiruralhealth.org.