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Smythes, State Bank give $225,000

Through service and philanthropy, the Jack and Kay Smythe family have carried out a legacy of giving back to the community, a family tradition which spans at least four generations.

St. Joseph's Area Health Services recently announced its plans to join Dakota Clinic in a $25.8 million facility expansion project.

As part of the commitment by Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) in funding this project, they called on the community to invest $1.5 million in a capital campaign.

The campaign is underway and will run over the next 18 months with pledges being accepted over a five-year period.

The Smythes became involved in a heartbeat.

The State Bank of Park Rapids and Jack and Kay Smythe initiated two major donations totaling $225,000 on behalf of the campaign.

"State Bank is proud to be a community leader for the vision of the healthcare project at St. Joseph's Area Health Services," said Jack Smythe, State Bank president. "We encourage others to join us, to step up financially in support of a most worthy community project that can benefit everyone in the area."

With their contribution, they continue the legacy of giving back to the community.

Jack's grandmother, the late Mary B. Smythe began that tradition in her lifetime, and, at the time of her passing in 1961, she willed a sizeable donation to St. Joseph's Hospital.

Jack remembers his mother, Alice, working with the hospital auxiliary as one of her favorite things to do. His father, the late Vince Smythe who died in 1984, served on St. Joseph's board of directors for many years.

Kay Smythe also has served as a volunteer leader at St. Joseph's throughout the years. She remains active with St. Joseph's Auxiliary and their capital campaign executive committee. Most recently, she dedicated her talents to serve on St. Joseph's Area Health Services Foundation Board.

"Jack and I are happy to contribute to the success of St. Joseph's building project," Kay says. "The hospital continues to mean a lot to both of us."

Jack says he hopes the spirit of giving is a legacy that will continue to be passed down in the family. (Their children, Sue and Jon, serve on State Bank's board which elected to make a $125,000 donation.) Jack and Kay pledged to contribute a personal donation of $100,000.

Peter Jacobson, St. Joseph's president/CEO, says the example and "early leadership" set by the Smythes has been paramount in sharing the vision of what can be done through community stewardship and working together.

"Jack and Kay Smythe, along with State Bank, have demonstrated a very strong commitment to the future of St. Joseph's that ultimately makes Park Rapids an even better place to live and vacation," he adds.

Cynthia Rooney, St. Joseph's communication/development manager, says it will take a community commitment from area businesses and residents such as the Smythes to raise the $1.5 million needed to make a medical center a reality. She said she has witnessed strong leadership and energy from St. Joseph's Foundation Board and campaign executive committee members.

Members who have volunteered to spearhead the campaign, get the message out to the public and solicit contributions are Jacobson, Rooney, Dave Andersen, DDS, Kathy Anderson, Dr. Jane Churchill, MD, Cynthia Jones, Curt McCabe, Tom Miller, Venita Popma, Mark Schik, Kay Smythe, Larry Swenson and Ralph Wood.

Honorary chairs are Dr. Paul and Jean Grimes.

Anyone interested in learning more, serving as a campaign volunteer or making a contribution can call Rooney at 237-5711.