Benefis Foundation office will be open New Year’s Eve for year-end giving

If you were hoping to help enhance healthcare for others in our community and region with a year-end gift while at the same time take advantage of the tax rewards, don’t worry – there’s still plenty of time to give your gift to the Benefis Foundation.

The Benefis Foundation office is open today and also will be open Monday and Tuesday next week for those who’d like to make year-end gifts before 2014 comes to a close. You have the option of making your gift online at as well.

The Foundation office will be closed on Wednesday (New Year’s Day) and will reopen on Thursday and Friday.

Information on year-end gifts:

Gifts by cash or checks:
1. If delivered by mail, the gift date is the postmark.
2. If delivered via the Foundation website, the gift date is the date which the electronic funds transfer is approved by the Foundation’s bank.
3. If hand delivered to Peace Hospice, the SCI, Gift of Life Housing or other such entities, the date of the gift is the date they received the checks or cash.
4. If hand delivered to the Foundation office, the date of the gift is the date of delivery.

Gifts by credit card:
1. If we receive a credit card number in the mail, the date of the gift is the date the credit card company approves the charge. NOTE: The postmark does not rule here.
2. If we receive a credit card gift via the website, the date of the gift is the date the credit card company approves the charge.

Gifts of stock:
1. The date of the stock gift is the date the stock is recorded to our brokerage account or an irrevocable stock power is signed by the donor.

If you have any questions about year-end gifts, please call our office at (406) 455-5840 or send an email to

Thank you, and Happy New Year everyone!

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Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute Open House

Waiting area

On Tuesday night, the Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute opened its doors to donors and the public, inviting everyone to come in and see how the renovation to advance the vision for cancer care turned out.

Joe with donors

Sletten’s Chief Administrative Officer Joe LoDuca and other staff members offered tours of the new areas, such as the one-stop registration area (below), the redesigned infusion area, the state-of-the-art pharmacy and more.


If you weren’t able to make it to the open house, please feel free to drop by the Sletten Cancer Institute the next time you’re in the neighborhood to see how this project has enhanced the already-beautiful facility.

Thank you so much to the many donors who supported this important renovation. You are helping with the healing journey of all who walk through the doors of our amazing cancer center.

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Healthcare Scholarship Program Donor Celebration

Donor celebration 002 webThe Benefis Foundation had a gathering in early November to honor and celebrate donors who’ve created and supported Named Scholarships and Scholarships Endowments as part of the Foundation’s Healthcare Scholarship Program.

These funds, along with the Medical Education Scholarship fund that’s supported by donors who give to the Healthcare Scholarships Program, have provided many scholarships for local and regional healthcare students over the past several years, making career dreams come true while also providing quality healthcare professionals in Great Falls and the surrounding areas.

During the short program that evening, we recognized the donors who were able to join us – John and Sue Skees; Dr. Bill and Lynn Bloemendaal; Jim and Fran Wylder; and Julie Hickethier. We also recognized some of the students who are being supported through the program and wished them well on their paths to satisfying careers in healthcare. Last but not least, we gave a heartfelt “thank you” to the members of the Healthcare Scholarships Committee who generously give their time to go through the applications each year, check the requirements and select the awardees.

Thanks to all who were able to join us to celebrate some of the nicest people.

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Committee member Jan Leishman-Donahue visits with physical therapy assistant student Kelli Johnson and her fiance, Drew Pettijohn.

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Donors Fran and Jim Wylder with nursing student Lucas Wurz.

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Committee member Sharon Dieziger and her husband, Del.

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Committee member Darla Black sits with nursing student Latoya Reovan and her husband, Camile.

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Donor Julie Hickethier talks with Jennifer Graupmann, whose son Brian received Julie’s scholarship award this year, and Benefis Foundation Board member Nobby Johnson.

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Committee member Juanita McGregor visits with donor Sue Skees and Kelly Michel of the Benefis Foundation.

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Foundation Board Chair Dick Doughten and committee member Ann Graff visit with student Sydney Hirst and her husband, Joe.

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Benefis Foundation’s Marilyn Parker with Benefis CEO John Goodnow.

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Donors Fran and Jim Wylder with Foundation Board members Nobby Johnson and Chris Reiquam.

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Benefis Foundation’s Sandy Ramstead, who administers the Healthcare Scholarship Program, and Kelly Michel with Sharon Dieziger.

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Jan Leishman-Donahue with nursing student Ali Brantley and her husband, Jason.

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Bravo to the WCWS Campaign Committee

WCWS breakfast 003

We recently had a breakfast celebration for the We Care! We Share! Campaign Committee to thank them for making this year’s Community Giving Campaign better than ever before.

Thank you so much to Kelly Michel, Micky Caldwell, Megan Gimenez, Pam Blackwell, Christina Cron, Rory Klaue, Gene Koppy, Heidi LePard, Denise Nichols, Geannine Purpura, Tina Rabbitt and Sandy Robinson for your hard work that helped us raise $329,515 through this year’s campaign.

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Here’s a look at the numbers:

  • 23 departments with 3 or more employees had 100 percent participation
  • 67 different Benefis Foundation funds were supported
  • 44 employees signed up for the Benefis Hour Club (where you donate one hour of your pay each pay period)
  • 70 Campaign Coordinators from various departments assisted with the campaign
  • 32 Benefis Medical Group physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants gave (up from 14 last year)
  • 44 employees signed up to do a Deferred Payment Gift Annuity

You all are simply AMAZING, and we really appreciate you!

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Take a spin for charity

Raising money to support cancer patients and survivors in our community has never been so easy. All you have to do is take a brand new Ford for a drive around the block.

During the Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute’s 2nd Annual Men & Machines Car Show on Sept. 14, Bison Ford and Ford Motor Company will be donating $20 to Sletten’s Circle of Hope Program through the Benefis Foundation each time a new individual (based on physical address) test drives one of the new Fords on display at the car show. These generous businesses will donate up to $6,000 through this Drive One 4 Ur Charity event.

“It’s really low-key,” said Whitney Olson, vice president of Bison Ford. “People will be driving with cancer survivors, not salespeople. There is absolutely no pressure to buy anything.”

The fundraiser will be from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the car show, which is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute. Along with the Drive One 4 Ur Charity event and awards for some of the best vehicles around, the car show will feature pinewood derby races with Cub Scout Pack 43, a Health Information Poker Walk and more.

All of the proceeds raised through Drive One 4 Ur Charity will go to support the Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute’s Circle of Hope Program. This special program provides wigs, prosthetics, fittings, classes, support groups and other services for cancer patients and survivors.

For information about Drive 4 Ur Charity or the Men & Machines Car Show, click here or call 731-8250.

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A Mayfaire to Remember


What was so unforgettable about this year’s Mayfaire? Pretty much everything.

This year – our 14th annual Mayfaire – was to benefit the Benefis Alzheimer’s Remodel Campaign, our effort to raise $800,000 to help transform the current Alzheimer’s Unit into a new model of care. Turns out quite a number of people feel the project is as important as we do.


But, before we get to the money part, let me tell you about the feel of it all. The Mansfield Convention Center was decorated so beautifully for the Mayfaire Gala last Saturday night. The room was streamed in purple, with African violets and begonias topping the tables and black and white family photos adorning the walls. The gentle jazz music was just right… everything was perfect for our “Forget Me Not” event.

We had a full house that night with around 600 guests plus a hundred or more volunteers. Had they come for the presentation by Alan Arnette, who climbed the Seven Summits to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and honor his mother, who died from the disease? Had they come for the delicious roast pork loin dinner or to be taken back to the ‘80s by our featured entertainer Juice Newton? Or had they come because they’ve been touched by Alzheimer’s and want to help make a better life for those suffering with the disease?


I found out it was a little bit of everything. The dinner was served warm and tasted scrumptious. Alan’s presentation was fascinating and quite touching. And Juice knocked it out of the ballpark with her huge voice that sounded as good today as it did some 30 years ago, when “The Sweetest Thing (I’ve Ever Known)” and “Angel of the Morning” were topping the charts.


What was even more impressive was watching the healing power of generosity happen before our eyes. When the auctioneer opened up for bidding during the special appeal for the Alzheimer’s Remodel Campaign, many of our generous guests stepped up to support the cause. People raised their bid cards for gifts in the $25,000, $10,000, $5,000, $1,000 and $500 range, some of whom quietly telling the runner they actually wanted to give twice as much as they had raised their cards for. At the end of the evening, a wonderful friend of the Foundation handed us his pledge, written on one of our giving envelopes. It was for $10,000… and he’d already given $3,000 to support the campaign!



We also had an amazing silent auction that brought in a bundle for the cause plus a wall of more than 100 bottles of wine that sold out and a very successful raffle.



Of course, the Mayfaire golf tournament, with a Calcutta and a golf ball drop, held the day before the gala raised a good deal for the Alzheimer’s remodel, too. The golf ball drop winner split the proceeds from the golf ball drop with us and then turned around and gave us half of his half. The generosity of the folks we partner with through this event is so impressive.

Mayfaire has taken us beyond the halfway mark in our goal to raise $800,000 for the expansion project. Thank you again to everyone who helped make our signature annual fundraising event a night to remember.


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Mayfaire committee members celebrated

Last week, there was a small gathering to celebrate a hugely important group of people – the 35 Mayfaire committee members who volunteered their time to help the Benefis Foundation organize its most successful Mayfaire to date.

Thanks to these amazing people, along with the approximately 100 others who helped the night of the Gala and at the golf tournament, more than $300,000 was raised to support the Benefis Peace Hospice Residential Expansion Campaign through Mayfaire.

These volunteers gave such a special gift – the gift of their time and talents – and we are truly grateful.

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