Spending time at a medical center is not usually a fun experience, but this weekend is different.
The Sweet Medical Center in Chinook is holding an open-house fundraiser festival on Saturday in its own parking lot.
“We just finished a remodel in May, and I’d like people to see the facilities, ” said Jared Payne, the center’s executive director.
The event starts at noon, with carnival games and live music. At 3 p. m. the music continues as a barbecue begins.
At 5 p. m. the event will shift. As the music and dinner die down, the center will begin raffling off prizes including an iPod touch, a Sony e-reader and a camping package as well as a live auction of donated items.
“The community’s been very generous, blessing us with many donations in-kind for auctions, ” Payne said.
Admission is $5, which provides access to all of the free food and games inside.
The event is one of a few that the center is holding to try to raise the matching funds required by grants that fund the clinic, partly to cover the construction costs of this spring’s renovations.
Another event that they are planning for Oct. 18, in conjunction with the Bullhook Community Health Center, is a Harlem Ambassadors basketball game in the Montana State University-Northern gymnasium.
That game will cost $8 for adult tickets, $5 for students and nothing for kids 5 and under prior to the game. At the door, the prices will be $10 for adults and $6 for students.
The medical clinics will raise money through that admission price and sponsorships for quarters of the game and players competing against the Ambassadors. The Northern Athletic Department will raise money through concession sales and auctioning off the game ball, signed by the Ambassadors.
Payne said these events are necessary for the medical centers, both Sweet and Bullhook, to offer their vital services.
“The community health centers are the foundation for primary care in America, especially for Blaine County and Hill County, ” Payne said. “We have lots of programs for people that need financial assistance, and we feel we provide the best health care in the world.
“I firmly believe part of the life blood of Chinook is this health center. ”
If anyone would like to donate items or services to Sweet Medical Center, the open-house festival this weekend or the basketball game in October, Payne encourages calls to his phone number, at 357-2403, or emails to email@example.com.
For information about or tickets for October's game, Payne said people should contact Bullhook.