Big Rapids Hospital Auxiliary donates $50K to fund Wheatlake Wellness Path

REED CITY — The Big Rapids Hospital Auxiliary is donating $50,000 to help fund the Wheatlake Wellness Path at the Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center.

The donation, which will be dispersed in $10,000 increments over the course of five years, will help to create an accessible path outside the cancer center. The path will give patients a chance to enjoy the outdoors while also spending quality time with family and friends.

Along the path, patients and their families will find benches, trees, a fountain, healing gardens and a covered picnic area.

Nancy Nowicki, president of the Big Rapids Hospital Auxiliary said the organization felt very strongly about choosing to donate to this project.

“As a caregiver for my husband when he had cancer in Grand Rapids, there was never an area to sit outside,” said Nowicki. “You could only ever go around the inside of the hospital.”

Wanting to change this for future cancer patients, Nowicki and the rest of the auxiliary gathered the $50,000 through hospital gift shop sales.

The Big Rapids Hospital Auxiliary has contributed to Spectrum Health in other ways as well. This includes baby clothing and supplies for maternity wards, transportation services for people going to and from Reeds City Hospital and Big Rapids Hospital and scholarships for hospital interns.

“As we find out what different departments need, we look at what we have and decide who is most in need at the moment,” said Nowicki. “We always try to see where we can help.”

It is unclear when the wellness path will be constructed, but hospital officials expect it will take place soon.

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Posted by Catherine Sweeney

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