I go through the same routine every year. Order a dress, send it back. Order another one and send it back. It’s my annual ARTcetera calamity, and it’s because ARTcetera, our region’s largest fundraiser, is for me, such a big deal.
I didn’t grow up wearing dresses and attending parties. I grew up fishing and swimming and playing kick-the-can with my neighborhood friends. My brothers were born in the neighborhood Victorian just up the hill. I came along later after a tiny community hospital was built. Our lives were happy, healthy and full of fun. We were very lucky.
Forty-some years later, I’m still happy, healthy and lucky. But here, working in a large regional hospital, I’m surrounded everyday by so many who just aren’t. It’s the mom who’s struggling with cancer. It’s the son who’s dealing with depression, and it’s the loved one recovering from a car accident. These are the people helped by ARTcetera.
Every year or so, we change ARTcetera’s focus to address a greatest need. Proceeds from ARTcetera helped build Solvay Hospice House and Amberwing. They helped renovate the adult inpatient psychiatric unit and they created the Caring Ways Cancer Center. This year, ARTcetera will help expand and advance Polinsky Physical Rehabilitation Services.
The Polinsky Rehabilitation Center serves thousands of people each year, and it has long needed a new, more vibrant, healing space that reflects the state-of-the-art care that occurs there. Right now, kids wait sometimes for weeks to get in to see a physical therapist, psychologist, or occupational therapist. And at a time when their brains need it most.
With proceeds from this year’s ARTcetera, Polinsky will move to a brand-new center where friends, family members and loved ones, no matter their age can learn to walk, talk, swallow, move, play, deal sensory disorders and maybe even fish. With the right space, the best equipment and enough top-notch staff, our ability to care for people right here in Duluth, will grow exponentially. The bottom line? More people will have the chance to feel happy, healthy and lucky.
And so, for this year’s ARTcetera, I’ll do what I usually end up doing. I’ll pull my best dress from the back of the closet and prepare to join an amazing group of community members who understand that ARTcetera is so much more than the dress.
** To purchase tickets to ARTcetera 2019, please visit this link.