By Pat Caldwell
ONTARIO — Get your dancing shoes – or boots – on.
The 2nd Annual Saint Alphonsus Foundation’s Hoedown is set to kick off Friday, April 28, at the Red Barn at the Malheur County Fairgrounds.
“It is a casual evening with the goal to raise funds for local scholarships for people getting into health care,” said Ken Hart, Saint Alphonsus Medical Center Ontario president.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. The dancing starts at 7:30 p.m. and runs until 11 p.m.
Tickets are $30 or two for $50. The band Simple Ruckus will furnish the music for the event.
They are available at Halcom State Farm Insurance, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Berts Growler Garage, Oregon Trail Hobbies & Gifts and online at SaintAlphonsus.org/Hoedown.
The Hoedown fuels the foundation’s scholarship program aimed at students who choose a career in health care and plan to return to the local area.
“We are giving away 10 $1,000 scholarships,” Hart said.
Hart said the scholarships are awarded regardless of which college a student attends.
“You just have to be local,” he said.
Last year, Hart said, the Hoedown netted about $10,000.
“We had a little over 100 (people) so for the first year it wasn’t so bad,” he said.
He said he hopes the 2017 edition of the dance will be even more successful.
Hart said the Hoedown and the scholarship effort are both part of Saint Alphonsus’ effort to generate more health care professionals locally.
“Our local foundation really looked at it as how do we grow our own folks and this is a great way for us to invest back into the community,” he said.
Another interesting part of the Hoedown event Hart said is the raffling of tuition credits.
“We auction those off. As an example, TVCC donated to us a $1,000 tuition credit,” he said.
Last year, Hart said, Eastern Oregon University, Boise State University, College of Western Idaho and Northwest Nazarene University donated credits to be auctioned.
Another big sponsor for the event is Anderson Construction, Hart said. Anderson Construction completed the renovation project at the Ontario Health Plaza and is also conducting work at the Ontario medical center.