Lydia Kautz

Junction City Union

Geary Community Hospital’s poor financial status is no secret, at this point in time.

Officials with the hospital have verified on more than one occasion that GCH is still stuck in the single digits in terms of its cash on hand. The hospital continues to fight to collect on bad debts from patients racked up in past years while attempting to pay off debts of its own, also by the admission of GCH administrators.

The hospital’s Interim CEO Don Smithburg has said the hospital needs four things to happen in order to dig itself out of the hole it is presently in.

These things are: a decrease in GCH’s accounts payable, Medicaid expansion, which is now being discussed by the state legislature, philanthropy, and the raising of the number of mills GCH receives from Geary County.

Theresa Bramlage, who chairs the GCH Board of Trustees, has taken steps toward making the philanthropy leg of this plan happen through the R2 B4 Bramlage Family Foundation.

March 7, a fundraiser will take place at the C.L. Hoover Opera House featuring dinner and a show by a group called Artrageous.

Artrageous has been in Junction City in the past. The group performed at the opera house last year. The group’s tagline is “part art studio, part rock concert, part creation lab.”

“The group actually creates art as they’re performing,” Bramlage said. “And so then the art will be auctioned off at the end of the show.”

The dinner starts at 5:30 and the show begins at 7 p.m. at the opera house. The dinner, Bramlage said, will be served with help from GCH staff, including the hospital’s chef, and include food provided by several local restaurants.

Bramlage has described the event as an opportunity for members of the public to support GCH.

“This is something where our community can come together to show support for the hospital,” she said while explaining the benefit to the Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce. “The hospital has done so much for this community and this is a way for us to give back.”

Some of the art will be auctioned off while the concert is still ongoing, according to Bramlage.

“We’re also planning to have a paddle raise during the show,” she said.

Tickets are available for the dinner and the show combined and for the show by itself and can be purchased by contacting the opera house directly.

For more information about the fundraiser, people may call the opera house at 785-238-3906.

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