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Arthur Nagel Community Clinic breaks ground for expansion"

By K. Irene Stone & Carolyn B. Edwards

Flowers bloomed, birds sang and the sun shone as friends and supporters of the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic came together July 26 to break ground on the new 2,200 square-foot building expansion.

Over 70 guests, ranging from staff and volunteers to representatives from local nonprofits and foundations, listened as guest speaker Gary Johnston, of Gary Johnston Real Estate, spoke on the positive economic impact the clinic will have on Bandera County in the future. Giving thanks to God for the growth of the Village of Hope complex, Mike Smith, clinic board member gave the invocation and Cliff Hargrove, Western Heritage Cowboy Church, closed with a benediction.

In his remarks, Johnston said the clinic benefits the community on two levels. First, it provides quality health care service. Secondly, "This clinic will one day be recognized as the largest individual economic generator in our county. Today, we cannot fully understand the potential this clinic holds for the future of our community."

Johnston envisions the clinic creating a cluster effect on health care services, creating jobs, "decent paying jobs with benefits, right here in Bandera."

Following the brief ceremony, board members from Helping Hand and Arthur Nagel Community Clinic lifted gold-hued shovels and turned the sod to commemorate the special occasion.

Representing Helping Hand were Founder Comellia Rue, Executive Director Jesse Parks, and Board Members Kathy Gardner, Richard Howells, Marianne Sandidge, Butch Eby, Linda McLaughlin, and Aurora Williams. On hand for the clinic were Executive Director K. Irene Stone, Vice President for Development Ann Gay Bishop, Board Members Dan Wise, Bob Grimes, Bruce Hanks, Toni Serene, Mike Smith, Lon Yaeger, Dan Zuber, and Advisory Board Members Don Giles, Clarence Jernigan, MD, and Al Fremland, MD. Special guests included Philip Milton, Perry & Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation; Paul Urban, Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country; Judge Herschel Moore; and Guy Burnett, architect for the project.

The Building Expansion Project has been a work in progress for the past 18 months, with a $450,000 capital campaign being launched in January 2012. Philanthropic foundations, including the Stevens Foundation, Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, and the JE and LE Mabee Foundation, were instrumental in underwriting the expansion.

The community also stepped up to the plate by giving individually, making pledges, or by attending the fundraiser, the Melissa Benge Turquoise Ball, which benefitted the clinic's expansion project. In addition, the Bandera Community Foundation designated the clinic as 2012 recipient of Celebrate Bandera's Cow Patty Bingo, with the proceeds going to the expansion project.

Contractor Jim Haverlah will begin construction on the project in August. The project should take 180 days from start to finish. Plans include an extended parking lot, enlarged waiting room, four new offices, a multi-purpose room, a teaching kitchen, and a new Prescription Assistance Program office. Naming Gift opportunities are available for those who would like to help the clinic with the expansion and honor or memorialize a loved one.

To make a donation to help support the Building Expansion Project, go to NagelClinic.org for online donations or send your gift directly to the clinic at PO Box 519, Bandera, Texas 78003. The clinic always needs volunteers to help with routine medical care and daily office assignments. To help, please call 830-796-3448.

The entire Village of Hope complex, which currently includes Helping Hand and its off-shoot, the Nagel Clinic, was established as a Christian ministry outreach to Bandera County's less fortunate in obediance to the biblical injunction, "Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."