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WMUMC Destination Imagination group donates to West Memphis EMS

Funds raised will go to specialized needles

Overcoming unforeseen obstacles forms a big life lesson. But the junior high students at West Memphis United Methodist Church adapted and overcame even the closing of Crittenden Regional Hospital in a fundraising project.

The youths teamed up for a Destination Imagination project and the group planned a walk-a-thon for the now defunct CRH, and talk about getting left out in the cold — an ice storm dashed their hopes for a scheduled fundraising 5K event.

The obstacles piled up high, and a lesser group may have quit, but the young students planned another course — a health Expo went off instead, and the walk-a-thon T-shirts were sold there. The fledgling group also designated a new medical related beneficiary — the West Mem- phis Fire Department’s ambulance service.

Rev. Dr. Michelle Morris, Associate Pastor at West Memphis United Methodist Church, supervised the Destination Imagination project and spoke about the decision to make the WMFD’s EMS service the group’s beneficiary.

“They have a machine that drills into the bone and then injects through a special needle into bone,” said Morris. “It allows them to put fluids or blood straight into your bone marrow if they can’t hit a vein especially for infants or the elderly.”

Each of these special “Intraosseous Infusion” needles comes at quite an expense — $150. The group invited EMS Division Chief Chris Brogdon to a “big check” ceremony, where he showed a demonstration video and explained the need.

“We greatly appreciate the generous donation to the ambulance service at the fire department,” said Brogdon who noted the group had to shift plans for the donation. “After a lot of hard work by the students it came to us to support a medical need in the community since we no longer had the hospital.”

“The kids raised $2,500 for them and they will use that to buy some of those needles” said Morris.

The donation not only made a big impact at the city ambulance service, but also displayed enough flexibility to be recognized as successful campaign at the Destination Imagination state competition, too. The first time effort by the Junior High team took second place at regionals and third place at state with a clever musical presentation.

“We were very pleased,” said Morris. “They had the 5K that was canceled and then they held an information fair at our church.

Their presentation covered the planning period, the event and an evaluation.

They took the Adele song “Hello” and rewrote the lyrics to tell the story of everything — choosing the hospital issue, the challenges they faced with the ice day, getting community sponsors to help with fundraising and finally selling the 5K T-shirts.”

By John Rech