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Clinics event to honor volunteers, raise funds
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How to help

Donate: Visit www.goodnewsclinics.org or mail contributions to P.O. Box 2683, Gainesville, GA, 30503
Volunteer: Call the clinic or visit the website

Good News Clinics runs on the work of volunteers, and there are a lot of  them — about 40 doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, 40 dentists and even more nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists and community members.

The public health nonprofit also runs on donations from the community. Its annual fundraising dinner is about both; it honors volunteers while generating funds.

The charity will honor an outstanding volunteer with the Dr. Sam Poole Volunteer of the Year award at the dinner Sept. 30, and will also collect donations to help fund operation of the free medical and dental clinics throughout the year.

“We’ve had really great support from the community in the past,” said Mary Baxter, development director for the organization. “(The dinner) does help a lot. It’s a big operation to fund.”

The event will include a seated dinner, award presentation and entertainment by the Bluegrass Alliance, which features Good News Clinics volunteer dentist Johnny Martin on guitar.

“We’re funded mostly by individuals, businesses, churches,” Baxter said, adding that the organization also receives grants from United Way and other charitable foundations. “That’s where most of our support comes from. We don’t receive government funds.”

Baxter said that the uninsured in Hall County rely on the clinics for care and for referrals to the 240 specialists who partner with the organization.

“We take new patient applications Monday through Thursday, and we continue to have people every one of those days come in to sign up,” Baxter said. “There’s still a large need in our community. There are a lot of people who have no insurance, and you really have no other way to receive medical care.”

The dinner raises funds through sponsorships in which a sponsor buys tickets for a table. Contributions are also collected during the event.

Sponsorships range from $400 to $2,500 for a table for eight, with sponsorships of $1,000 or $2,500 receiving special recognition.

All funds raised at the dinner are put toward operating expenses for the charity, which served more than 4,000 patients at its clinics last year.

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