MFC added to Dillons Rewards Program
Mennonite Friendship Communities is now included in the Dillons Community Rewards program.
The program is designated for non-profits to earn money easily. Every time a shopper makes a purchase at Dillons with their Dillons card, Mennonite Friendship Communities will get a portion of the proceeds.
Enrolling is easy!
1) Visit www.dillons.com/communityrewards
2) Sign in OR create a new account
3) Click on "Enroll Now"
4) Enter the 5-digit NPO (19969) and search
5) Select Mennonite Friendship Communities and click on Enroll.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to email Kristen@MennoFriend.com.
Earning cash through wings
Mennonite Friendship Communities raised $117.03 through Buffalo Wild Wings' Eat Wings, Raise Funds event on March 9.
Supporters dined on $1,170.30 worth of wings and mfc received 10 percent of the proceeds. There were 72 tickets for mfc portion of the day. That equals an average of $16 per ticket.
Keep with this website for more on additional fundraisers!
Liverwurst & Fried Mush dinner earns $14,400
The annual Liverwurst & Fried Mush fundraiser for Mennonite Friendship Communities brought in 800 hungry people and more than $14,400 before expenses.
"It’s just amazing to see the tremendous support we see at this event each year," Lowell J. Peachey, President and CEO, said. "Many of the people who come have great memories of what it’s like on butchering day and the ways previous generations were able to use the whole animal and not waste anything. And it’s a unique experience for first-timers as well. It’s definitely the most wonderful time of the year!"
Unusually warm February weather enticed the crowd to check out the frying shack before and after dinner. They watched as 180 pounds of cornmeal mush was carefully arranged and placed inside fryers. Inside the activity center, the fried mush and more than 230 pounds of liverwurst was being served to a hungry crowd.
The meal raises money for the Continuing Care Endowment Fund, defraying costs for residents who have outlived their financial resources.
More than 60 percent of nursing home residents rely on Medicare and money from the endowment fund for their care. Fundraisers like the Liverwurst & Fried Mush dinner and the Benefit Auction in October help cover the cost.
The meal was a success thanks to countless volunteers who offered food donations and their time to help make the event run as smoothly as possible.
"Obviously it takes a lot of people-power to pull off an event like this," Peachey said. "It’s a labor of love – both for the food and for the people that our endowment fund serves."
The next fundraiser for mfc is at Buffalo Wild Wings on March 9.
Art with Passion
The music begins to play, and Merlin Cable goes to work.
The crowd is captivated by each sketch. It sits in silence, wondering what the picture is going to be. As the music progresses, so does the story that Cable tells through his fingers.
His chalk drawings have become a form of worship since Cable was young, sitting in silence as he watched his father, Elwood Cable, fascinate audiences with his chalk and accent lighting.
“He drew as a hobby in church settings for close to 50 years,” said Merlin Cable, who is the director of environmental services at Mennonite Friendship Communities.
He didn’t know it at the time, but Merlin was taking in every sketch his father made.
“I never thought I wanted to do chalk art,” Cable said.
He dabbled in art in school - and enjoyed it - but it was never something he took seriously.
Picking up the chalk
For Elwood Cable, doing chalk drawings for churches was a form of worship. It was also a family affair. His wife, Amy, would play background music on a record player. Merlin and his siblings would be tasked with carrying the equipment into the buildings before performances.
The family would charge next to nothing for Elwood to do drawings throughout southwest Pennsylvania. They just wanted to make sure everyone was able to worship with them.
After his parents died in 2006 within 18 days of each other, Merlin saw the chalk supplies in their belongings. He asked his siblings if he could have the chalk and drawing board.
“You don’t know what God has planned for you,” Cable said.
At 53 years old, Cable started to draw - learning mainly from recollection of Elwood’s drawings and from YouTube videos.
Cable admits that the first drawings weren’t pretty, but they quickly evolved. On July 29, 2007, Cable did his first public drawing at the former Faith Mennonite Church, just south of South Hutchinson.
The drawing depicted Psalm 43:3 “Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!”
He sketched a lighthouse on a hill, lighting the way for a boat to make its way to shore in stormy waters.
Coincidentally, a few years later, he did a drawing on the last Sunday that Faith Mennonite Church had a service - depicting the same scene.
Always room to grow
Merlin has done more than 100 public drawings since that hot summer day in 2007 when he did his first piece.
He has gone from drawing on a board to using large bed sheets. Though his sketches have improved, Merlin is still working on his craft.
“I’m still trying to perfect it,” he said.
To the audience, the imperfections are what make each piece a masterpiece. It’s when the highlights of a cross give college kids goosebumps, or when the blood of Jesus brings tears to someone’s eyes - Merlin is honored when he knows his drawings brought someone a little closer to God.
“It truly has been a blessing to me,” he said. “I hope it is a blessing to people who see it.”
That includes his 8-year-old granddaughter who is eager to learn from her grandpa. She wants to be a chalk artist.
“She’ll ask, Papa, can we go in the shed and draw with chalk?” Merlin said.
If she has her way, this family’s colorful legacy will continue for years to come.
MFC adds more private rooms for health care residents
Mennonite Friendship Communities is meeting market requests by creating eight more private rooms.
At the beginning of 2016, mfc will decertify eight semiprivate rooms and make them private. This will allow mfc to offer a higher level of healthcare experience for incoming residents and will create an improved quality of life for individuals who stay in those rooms.
“As we are planning for the future, we realize that shared rooms needed to be changed to remain competitive in the market,” Lowell J. Peachey, president and CEO, said. “This move will allow mfc to be positioned well in the market for the coming years.”
Studies have found that private rooms are beneficial in improving sleep, which leads to fewer falls; less anxiety; improved continence and gives residents more ease in hosting visitors. The mission at mfc is “enhancing the quality of life of residents, staff and a community at large within a framework of Mennonite values.”
Changing these semiprivate rooms to private rooms will help the retirement community to continue to meet the mission.
The change will take place in the south halls of the healthcare area at mfc.
Living a Legacy
Robert Field smiled as he walked up to a plot of land near the Salt Discovery marker in South Hutchinson.
Placed neatly at the front of a plot of dirt that will be the Reno County Veterans Memorial were six granite markers - each honoring a Veteran who died during WWI. Field didn’t look at the names on the front. He has already seen them. He just wanted to find something familiar on the very top.
“My father placed an identifying feature on all markers he cut,” Field said.
Sure enough, he found it. At the very top was his father’s moon-shaped mark. Field couldn’t be more proud. His father, Brice Field, started sandblasting the markers shortly after the war ended.
“Dad started cutting granite when he was about 20 years old while working for Milligan Granite Shop on East A St.,” Field said.
He knew the markers were then placed on bridges throughout town. Several years after the markers were created, Robert Field, who served in the Army during WWII, was traveling down West Second Avenue when he saw granite markers on two bridges on West Second Street in Hutchinson. He knew they had his father’s moon-shaped signature. Another was found on 11th Street.
Time passed and the markers were vandalized, therefore they were taken into storage at the City of Hutchinson Parks Department near City Park. Only three remained on West Second Avenue.
The other 15 sat unused for several years until the Veterans Memorial Committee made a formal request to the Hutchinson City Council to donate the markers to the Reno County Veterans Memorial, said Matt Stiles, South Hutchinson City Manager.
The markers were in their temporary home in time for the Reno County Veteran’s Memorial dedication and will remain there while the memorial is being built. They will move to a new permanent home - in one of the garden displays on either side of the main memorial - when it is finished, Stiles said.
Brice Field had a similar mission as the Reno County Veterans Memorial – he wanted to respect those who fought. The memorial honors those who fought in every war from the Civil War to today.
The markers that will be placed in the garden displays honor several of those who died during WWI. In all, 55 Reno County residents died in combat or due to illness overseas during WWI, according to The Hutchinson News.
Among the names is J. Lysle Rishel, who was the first Reno County resident killed in WWI, according to The News. He enlisted in the Marines in January 1918 and fought in the capture of Hill 181 and in Belleau Wood. He was 23 and is buried in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France. The American Legion Post 68, on West Fourth Avenue in Hutchinson, was named for him immediately after the war.
Rishel’s name is forever etched on one of the markers that Brice Field created. It’s always a blessing for Robert Field just to know where his father’s work is.
As he stood beneath his WWII veteran hat, Robert Field was excited that a bit of his history is staying in South Hutchinson.
Benefit Auction raises nearly $30,000
The Mennonite Friendship Communities annual Benefit Day Auction brought in nearly $30,000 to help residents who have run out of financial resources.
Auction-goers enjoyed a beautiful Saturday morning on Oct. 10 as they arrived at Journey at Yoder for the auction. By the end of the day, the auction brought in $28,528 after expenses for the Continuing Care Endowment Fund.
“Overall we were pleased with the results of the sale given some of the changes we made this year. As always, the benefit day is a great time of fellowship with the many people from this community that support mfc’s mission and ministry.” Lowell J. Peachey, president and CEO, said.
The cookie room, which was brought back by popular demand, brought in $512. Silent auction gift baskets earned $685 and the breakfast brought in $706. The Yoder Amish school provided lunch, sharing the proceeds with mfc. Cash donations to the sale totaled $7,670.
Some larger items brought in more than $1,000 each. Some of the big-ticket items are as follows: 2005 Toyota Camry at $4,000; John Deere riding tractor lawn mower at $1,500; Sturdi-Bilt shed at $1,450; Yoder smoker at $875.
Quilt sales went up to $600 and a famous photo of the Nickerson tornado by Hans Mast sold for $425. The photo was featured on CBS Evening News. Kansas City Chiefs tickets, off-road diesel and two bags of alfalfa seed all sold for $400.
The next fundraiser for mfc’s Continuing Care Endowment Fund is the Liverwurst and Fried Mush dinner on Friday, Feb. 26. In the meantime, anyone who would like to donate to help residents may do so by sending a check to 600 W. Blanchard, South Hutchinson, KS 67505 or by visiting www.MennoFriend.com.
Against all odds,
rehab gives man hope
CJ Lett needed little help as he walked several blocks to see a friend.
He smiled at anyone who walked by, and apart from an eye patch over his right eye, it’s hard to tell anything happened.
But Lett, 85, hadn’t been home in five months. When he entered Friendship Rehabilitation and Recovery at Mennonite Friendship Communities on Jan. 29, 2015, he could barely walk. After a few weeks of therapy, he was able to walk out the door with little help.
Lett has a passion for motorcycles. He’s been riding them since he was 14.
On Oct. 16, 2014, he was in a wreck in Arkansas while on his way to Tallahassee, Fla.
He doesn’t remember it.
“Turns out, I not only totaled my motorcycle, but I totaled myself, too,” Lett wrote in a letter to his friends and family.
He broke his pelvis in five places, broke several ribs and punctured his lung.
The closest hospital was full, so an ambulance tried another hospital. That, too, was full. They put Lett in a helicopter and flew him to a hospital in Springfield, Mo.
There he had an external pelvic fixator screwed into his pelvis to hold it in place. There are few doctors in the United States that do this procedure, Lett said, but one just happened to be in town on vacation.
His injuries were so severe, doctors told him that he had to be resuscitated twice.
“I tell everybody, I’m a cat that has nine lives,” he said. “That was one of them. They said ‘you can’t have another one.’”
The active man was forced to stay on bed rest for six weeks.
Somewhere between the hospital in Springfield, Mo., and a rehabilitation hospital in Wichita, he contracted Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus that severely damaged his right eye.
“There’s nothing left of it,” he said, pointing at the eye patch on his eye.
He came back to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center on Dec. 23, 2014. The day he planned to check out, he came down with pneumonia. Then he got the flu.
“All of that took a huge toll on my physical and mental state,” he wrote.
Coming to MFC
More than three months after his wreck, Lett’s family decided to move him from Hutchinson Regional Medical Center to Mennonite Friendship Communities.
It was the best decision he and his family made, Lett said.
He was impressed at the kindness and compassion that the nurses and staff had. After a couple of weeks, he got out of his slump and was excited to regain his strength.
“I couldn’t walk when I came in,” he said. “I learned how to walk again and how to feed myself.”
Staff made sure to encourage his enthusiasm by telling him how much progress he had made. If he did something new, they would say “That’s great, C.J., that’s great!”
On March 26, Lett was able to go home. He was thankful for the care he got during his rehabilitation stay at mfc.
“These people out here cared,” he said. “You don’t realize you need it until you’ve had a terrible accident.”
Susan Adkins, vice president for rehabilitation services, said she was pleased to have Lett in mfc’s rehab.
“It was a privilege to have met CJ, his family and friends,” Adkins said. “His determination and upbeat attitude was an inspiration to all of us. We wish him all the best and thank him for allowing us to be a part of his recovery.”
Help MFC raise money through Match Day
Mennonite Friendship Communities received $9,905 in endowed gifts during Match Day on May 3. This was 4.85 percent of the total from all non-profit organizations involved, so mfc received a $2,423.52 grant from the Hutchinson Community Foundation through its $50,000 pool.
With 42 individuals donating, the average gift to mfc on Match Day was $235.83. We are very thankful for supporters who either went to Eagle Media, donated online or gave money to a friend to take to Match Day.
The $2,423.52 grant from the Hutchinson Community Foundation was allocated for mfc to spend where it is most needed. The money will go toward a new steam table for the south dining room in the nursing home. This will help keep the food fresh and warm in the dining area, which will improve the resident experience.
MFC to implement therapy program
for residents with Alzheimer's and Dementia
Mennonite Friendship Communities is introducing a new award-winning therapy program for its Alzheimer’s and Dementia residents this month.
A community information session is scheduled for 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 22 at Mennonite Friendship Communities, 600 W. Blanchard in South Hutchinson.
“We’re very excited about the possibility of bringing a proven program to our campus,” Lowell J. Peachey, President and CEO, said. “We are expecting to be able to implement the program features seamlessly in our existing healthcare center. Once implemented there, we will be looking for applications beyond the traditional setting.”
Dr. Govind Bharwani will explain the innovative Behavior-Based Ergonomics Therapy (BBET) Program and the science behind it during the information session.
Bharwani, co-director of Ergonomics and Alzheimer’s Care at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, developed the program in coordination with the Miami Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and the St. Leonard Senior Living Community.
Since its inception, the BBET Program has received six national awards and has been proven to reduce falls and anti-psychotic medications for Alzheimer’s and Dementia residents. It has been implemented in more than 50 retirement communities throughout the United States.
The program is a person-centered care approach, which is customized to individual residents. It consists of four therapies – all are located in a central BBET Resource Center. Residents have access at any time to a memory prop box, audio therapy CDs, video therapy DVDs and stimulating therapy items. BBET uses the science of cognitive ergonomics and neuroscience research to reduce mental stress.
Each resident has a customized therapy action plan based on their life history and cognitive level. Generally residents are calm for three to four hours after the therapy.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and Dementia, this non-medication program helps to improve the quality of life for residents. Residents in other communities that already have the program are known to eat, bathe and sleep better and they have less agitated behaviors. It typically reduces the stress of the caregiver and provides a calm therapeutic atmosphere.
MFC quilt auction to go online
In an effort to receive higher bids for the Mennonite Friendship Communities’ Benefit Auction, the quilt sale is taking a new approach.
“We’ve been concerned for a couple of years about the ability to generate high enough bids for our high-quality quilts,” Lowell J. Peachey, President and CEO, said. “Our hope is that we will be able to broaden our market by using an online auction option.”
Bidding will begin on Nov. 1. Quilts may be viewed during the Benefit Auction on Oct. 8 in the Independent Living hallway, just inside from where the auction will take place.
The annual Benefit Auction will be back at mfc this year. There will be a live and silent auction, starting at 9:30 a.m. Fresh homemade donuts are available at 8:30 a.m., while lunch starts at 10:30 a.m. The lunch is provided by the Amish School in Yoder, which will receive a majority of the proceeds from the meal.
Proceeds for the auction go to the Continuing Care Endowment Fund at mfc, supporting residents who have outlived their financial resources.
On the sale bill are four tickets to the Kansas City Chiefs’ game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 20; 200 gallons of off-road diesel fuel; several collector tractors; a Stihl chainsaw complete with a carry case, helmet, 6 pack of ultra oil and 1 gallon bar oil; wild game dinner for 6; 8x10 Sturdi-Bilt shed; Wichita State University tickets, Wichita Thunder hockey tickets; 10 pounds German Country-style Whole Hog sausage; 1 butcher hog for delivery to Yoder Meats on Oct. 25; half side of grain finished butcher beef for delivery to Yoder Meats on Oct. 17; and more.
See an updated sale bill at www.MennoFriend.com.
Dillons Rewards Program
Eat wings, raise funds
Fundraiser raises $14,400
Art with Passion
More private rooms added
Living a Legacy
Auction Raises $30,000
Rehab gives man hope
BBET started in June
Benefit Day is Oct. 8