FernCare Raises $10K, Celebrates Upcoming Permanent Location
The third annual FernCare Dinner celebrated a healthy way of living, for free.
FernCare, a free clinic that operates in Ferndale, held its third annual dinner Thursday at the Ukrainian Culture Center in Warren, celebrating good health, free health care and a permanent location at 459 E. Nine Mile Rd.
Special guest speaker L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County executive, said FernCare's goal aligns with his own, but by a different name.
"The Brooksie Way means giving 110 percent when it comes to health," said Patterson.
The "Brooksie Way," which started as a family phrase, has become part of a movement with the nonprofit organization Count Your Steps Inc. to encourage a physically active Oakland County. To show support for other health-conscious programs, Count Your Steps gives mini-grants to programs that encourage healthful and active lifestyles, such as FernCare.
"I think (FernCare) is great," said Patterson. "I respect Ferndale's accomplishment, and I support it."
The dinner included a silent auction where guests could bid on donated items and services from Ferndale businesses, such as Mejishi Martial Arts and the Candle Wick Shoppe, and other businesses from surrounding cities.
Proceeds from the dinner and auction raised $10,000 dollars, which will go toward remodeling FernCare's new building.
"This will help cover some of the worker costs for remodeling. Not a bad night, huh?" FernCare Treasurer Robert Babut said. "The major goal is to get in our permanent clinic."
FernCare currently operates out of the Gerry Kulick Community Center on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Now that it has a new building, donated by Credit Union One, it is just a matter of time and renovations before FernCare can move into it, Babut said.
“The city has already given us the OK for construction," he said. "Now we just have to turn the office building into a medical clinic."
FernCare was started in Ferndale because of the area's health care needs. Now it serves patients from about 126 cities across Michigan and is open two days a month. However, the clinic is booked solid and is currently not accepting new patients.
And though everyone may not need FernCare, the clinic wants the city to know it is there.
“It is one more example of just a group of people in Ferndale who see something that could help and make it happen,” said Ann Heler, board president of FernCare. “Just to know if something were to happen, it's nice to know that it’s there. We’ve got your back."
Visit ferncare.org for more information about how you can take advantage of FernCare's health care services.