Gutierrez Highlights Work of Health Foundation

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HAC 10-20-14
Hermiston Hispanic Advisory Committee member Manuel Gutierrez shared with the committee and audience members the scope of charitable contributions made by the Good Shepherd Community Health Foundation.

Those attending Monday night’s Hermiston Hispanic Advisory Committee meeting were treated to an overview of the charitable efforts of the Good Shepherd Community Health Foundation.

The presentation was given by committee member Manuel Gutierrez, who also happens to be a member of the foundation’s board of directors.

The foundation’s mission is to support health-related charitable and educational activities within the community, as well as Good Shepherd Medical Center. Since its inception in 1985, the foundation has given more than $1.25 million to local organizations.

Twice a year – in the spring and fall – the foundation awards grants and scholarships. Earlier this spring, the foundation gave out $43,000 in grants, and this fall it awarded $35,590 in grants. The foundation has also given out $30,500 in medical scholarships, as well as $51,812 to other nonprofit organizations.

Among those receiving grants in 2014 were Agape House, Hermiston Fire & Emergency Services, the Hermiston School District, the iCan Bike program, Blue Mountain Community College, Domestic Violence Services, Stanfield Secondary School, Umatilla-Morrow Head Start, the city of Heppner, the Good Shepherd Medical Center Education Department, and more.

Also at Monday’s meeting, former committee members Virginia Garcia and George Anderson gave updates on a couple of projects the HAC has been working on.

Garcia talked about local efforts to pass Measure 88, which would provide driver cards to undocumented immigrants. Proponents of the measure say it will increase public safety on the roads by requiring card holders to pass a driver’s test and acquire car insurance. Garcia thanked Medelez Trucking for paying for pro-Measure 88 campaign signs on Highway 395. Efforts have also been made to register Hispanic voters.

Anderson informed the committee that the Hermiston Cinco de Mayor committee has secured its 501 c3 nonprofit designation, which allows people to write off their donations to the annual celebration. Anderson said the Internal Revenue Service has streamlined the application process by cutting the paperwork from 23 pages to about six and reducing the fee from $800 to $400.

“That’s good news for anyone wanting to start a 501 c3,” said committee member Bryan Medelez, who was filling in for absent committee Chairman Eddie de la Cruz.

Also at the meeting, Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan informed the committee that the deadline to apply for two vacancies on the committee came and went without anyone applying. Morgan said the Hermiston City Council will likely vote to reduce the committee’s members from nine to seven.

The next meeting of the HAC is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17 at Hermiston City Hall.

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