Hoedown II Fundraiser Nets Over $34,000 For New Hematology Analyzer

Eastern Plumas Health Care’s annual fundraiser, Hoedown II, held on Saturday, August 18, brought in a whopping $34,40.00 to fund a much needed new hematology analyzer for the hospital. The Martinis, Beanies, and Wienies group organized and put on this event, the second of its kind in three years. The group, comprised of Larry and Renee Walker, Frank and Marsha Shepard, Bill and Kathy Kenneroth, Randy and Katy Magliano, John and Sharla Scott, and Tig and Lucille Tarlton created an unforgettable evening, with a full bar, wonderful food catered by Grizzly Grill, and Hoedown music by the Simpletones, Mike Hogan’s band. Tig Tarlton and his wife Lucille again donated their barn and grounds, making for a memorable evening at this beautiful home overlooking Mohawk Valley.

Tarlton’s vision when he built this barn, was to create a beautiful venue in keeping with the landscape, where community events like this one could be held. Last Saturday, over 180 community members joined in to bid for auction items including a week at the Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas, a three night stay at a home in Stinson Beach, two nights luxury accommodations at Club Donatello in Union Square, San Francisco, and a gourmet dinner for eight by Chef Sean Conry. There were also lots of elegant raffle baskets to choose from, which included donations by two sought after local artists – a Kathleen Friedman painting, and cutting boards by George Halvorsen. This kind of hard work and community support are essential in providing the needed funds for vital hospital equipment.

The new, state of the art hematology analyzer, suggested as the recipient of donation funds this year by EPHC Lab Manager, Bill Carlson, returns a complete blood count (CBC) and assesses infection and anemia. This new analyzer replaces the hospital’s nearly defunct one. It will pay for itself in four years, according to Carlson, with the savings in reagent (which runs the machine like gas in a car) and maintenance costs.

“We’re able to do most lab tests right here. We have a twenty minute turn around time for the ER, which is required of our CLIA* licensed lab. This new hematology analyzer will aid us in meeting that goal,” said Carlson.

The group of six couples started planning this event back in January. “The amount of time and effort the Martinis, Beanies, and Wienies folks put in to make this event a success is so appreciated,” said Linda Satchwell, EPHC’s Public Relations Manager. “They asked for very little help from us, and they’re a joy to work with.”

Martinis, Beanies, and Wienies began in 1997 as a party thrown for 35 friends at the home of Frank and Marsha Shepard in Plumas Pines with the help of Larry and Renee Walker. The last year at the Shepard’s home, they hosted 150 friends. Because the party had outgrown their house, they cancelled it for a couple of years. “But, friends kept asking why they hadn’t been invited,” Shepard laughed. After that, they were talking with the Walkers, said Shepard, “and we thought, everybody loves this party so much, why don’t we charge for it and take that money and donate it.”

Since then, it has been a party for Eastern Plumas Health Care. It moved to the Walkers’ back yard with a band, and brought in around $10,000 the first couple of years. And, it picked up several other friends of the original organizers: the Kenneroths, Maglianos, and Scotts. With the move to Tarlton’s barn, the amount raised at Hoedown I was over $28,000 and this year, over $33,000. In all, the Martinis, Beanies and Wienies group has raised a stunning $81,000 for the hospital.

And, while the food has migrated from beans and hotdogs to a gourmet feast and the drink menu has vastly expanded, the intent of this group remains the same – to support the community they love.

*CLIA regulations establish quality standards for laboratory testing performed on specimens from humans, such as blood, body fluid and tissue, for the purpose of diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of disease, or assessment of health.


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