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Longtime supporter gratified to see dream of health campus become reality

When Gary Beckmann drives south of town and views the still-expanding medical campus to his right, he sees a symbol of a community coming together to ensure the health of its residents – and its economy.

“It’s a tremendous feeling,” Beckmann said. “It’s not just a medical center, but a campus now with the addition of Christian Community Home of Osceola and Wild River Fitness. In the future, we could very well see additional youth sports fields as another aspect of health and fitness, along with trails connecting it to the community.”

Beckmann remembers back to 2001 when, while board chairman of the Osceola Medical Center, the Osceola Community Health Foundation was established. He also remembers a fundraising consultant, brought in to help with a capital campaign for the new medical facility, say to lower their expectations of securing $7 million.

To everyone’s surprise, however, the Foundation surpassed that amount, and has since raised some $4 million more. In addition to supporting OMC, these funds have also been used to support important health-related programs throughout the area.

“To be able to provide top-of-the-line medical care to a community and area of our size is a great benefit,” Beckmann said. “To donors, I always say that they are helping ensure we will be able to continue to do that. A recent example is the digital mammography equipment the Foundation funded. It’s really out front in terms of technological advancements.”

Beckmann, on the Foundation board since its beginning, completed his last term in February. He describes his volunteer service to the Foundation as “exhilarating.

“You get a lot of satisfaction out of helping the area and community develop,” he said. “It’s a labor of love. There were a lot of hours, certainly. But, oh my gosh, it was well worth it.”