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Good News Clinics announces endowment fund campaign

POSTED: May 8, 2014 11:44 p.m.

Retired dentist Edwin Burnette remembers one patient at Good News Clinics very well.

“She had horrible teeth,” he said. “We got her looking very nice and she was thrilled to death.

“She said ‘Now, I can get me a job. And if I can get money, I’m going to donate some to the clinic.’”

Those donations — small and large — have sustained the Good News Clinics since the nonprofit’s opening in 1993, and Thursday evening the organization formally announced its Bridge to the Future Endowment Campaign.

Bess Poole and Anne Thomas made the joint announcement at a reception in the Quinlan Visual Arts Center. Poole is the wife of the Good News Clinics’ first medical director, Sam Poole. Thomas has been a longtime financial supporter.

“This is the beginning of the clinics’ endowment campaign,” Poole said. “We’re hoping to get out of this scramble for everyday expenses all the time.”

Endowments are investment funds; nonprofits use the interest generated to run operations.

The overall goal is to raise $5 million, and more than $3.3 million has already been raised over the past three years. The goal is to raise the additional $1.6 million over the next 18 months.

According to the nonprofit’s 2013 annual report, $1.4 million was spent from Oct. 1, 2012, to Sept. 30. There was a reported income of $1.8 million.

Poole and Thomas are serving as honorary co-chairwomen for the endowment campaign.

The clinics serve Hall County residents with no health insurance and an income within 150 percent of the federal poverty level.

“Since the clinic opened, we’ve served over 36,000 individuals in Hall County,” Executive Director Cheryl Christian said. “Each day, as we see the need of those in our community who aren’t insured and we see all the physicians and the dentists who come in to help us serve those individuals, we are very grateful.

“The endowment campaign will just take us to another level and help us continue that legacy.”

Also there Thursday evening was Susie Harris, the first nurse who helped set up Good News Clinics in little more than a janitor’s closet.

Harris now lives in Alabama, but was visiting her son in Gainesville when she heard of the reception and endowment announcement.

“For all of you who are working so hard at the clinic, I want you to know how much I appreciate what you do,” she said. “We thought it would just be very small, and look where it is now.”

Donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 2683, Gainesville, GA 30503. More information is online at


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