As the director of the Saint Alphonsus Foundation I feel it is important and helpful to address questions regarding the IRS 990 report. This is especially helpful in conjunction with Thanksgiving week and the 29th annual Saint Alphonsus Festival of Trees.
An Idaho Statesman letter writer understandably misinterpreted some numbers that were part of Audrey Dutton’s article from June 20. Ms. Gennie Ison (July 1) thought that after $381,961 was donated to Saint Alphonsus in charitable contributions, we (Saint Alphonsus) only kept $42,585 — having used the rest in special event expenses. We’d all be outraged if that were the case! In fact, the $381,961 represents the net total raised, and every penny of that amount was directed toward the charitable cause and program. In 2010, those dollars were primarily for Mental Health Services, with $49,694.96 going toward our international mission work called Project Haiti.
All Saint Alphonsus Health System associates (4,000 of your friends, relatives and neighbors) are proud of the part of our mission that is the stewardship of resources. A general rule of thumb for special events is to raise a dollar for every 50 cents spent. We work very hard to reduce expenses far beyond this ratio because we know that donors are careful about how their generous charitable contributions are spent. I know in my own personal giving that I am, too.
We invite the community to join us for the annual Festival of Trees tradition. We hope to garner as much support as possible for the very worthy cause of expanding our emergency department, which houses our region’s only Level II Trauma Center. The expanded ER will offer more patient privacy, specialized care for seniors, more space, reduced wait times and a more healing environment. We never want to think of our loved ones having to use emergency services, but if they do, Saint Alphonsus will continue to offer the highest caliber of care, regardless of a patient’s circumstances.
It is important to all of us that all of our sponsors, volunteers and attendees clearly understand how deeply committed we are to making sure every person’s time and resources are being invested with the utmost integrity and care.
We hope that Treasure Valley families are planning to visit Festival of Trees and enjoy the music, mirth, merriment ... and of course, the creatively designed trees that are such beautiful representations of the season of peace and love.
Jill Aldape is a native of Boise and has been the director of the Saint Alphonsus Foundation since 2009.