Friday, July 11, 2008

The Wood River Valley donates to Turks & Caicos

Lt. Col Reeves to the rescue again

Express Staff Writer

Part-time Elkhorn resident and humanitarian Lt. Col. Reginald R. Reeves is at it again: giving to the needy and doing so with ease. This time, however, the benefactor is not the hungry of Blaine County or the people of Vietnam, but rather the Grand Turk Hospital on the island of Turks and Caicos in the British West Indies.

With the help of a few volunteers and donations from five Idaho hospitals, including St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center, last week a truck from Gellings Atlas Moving and Storage took fetal monitors, four EKGs, x-ray machines and more to Mobile, Ala. From there the Southern Command unit of the United States Army took the medical equipment to Turks and Caicos.

The donation is a demonstration of gratitude by the U.S. Military to the Grand Turks Hospital, which rescued and treated several of its injured members when a National Guard plane landed on the island in May 2005.

Col. Timothy L. Lake, Chief, Force Assessment, at the Pentagon wanted to thank the people of Turks and Caicos. He thought his longtime friend, Reeves, could help.

"He called me up and said, in effect, 'Shouldn't we say thank you?'" Reeves said. "So I told him if you get me a plane, I'll get the supplies."

While the Air Force could not provide transportation due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Southern Command of the United States army offered to transport the cargo. The cargo is currently being moved from Mobile, Ala. to Turks and Caicos. As of Thursday, Reeves was still awaiting confirmation of its arrival.

Donors of the equipment included Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Godfrey Dental Clinic in Pocatello, Rosemark Women's Care Specialists in Idaho Falls, Steel Memorial Hospital in Salmon, Teton Valley Hospital in Driggs and St Luke's Wood River Medical Center in Ketchum.

With private donations of around $50,000, St. Luke's was able to donate two used EKG machines to the project. EKG machines provide physicians with a three-dimensional view of the heart allowing for an accurate and timely diagnosis of chest pain.

According to Tonia Bruess, the marketing and PR coordinator for St. Luke's, Reeves often turns to St. Luke's for assistance in his charitable projects.

"He and Hillary Furlong, the executive director of the St Luke's Wood River Foundation are friends," Bruess said. "When they need support he automatically calls, and we do whatever we can."

Giving abroad is nothing new for Reeves.

In the past he worked with Hailey Mayor Rick Davis to deliver $350,000 in medical equipment to an impoverished hospital in Vietnam.

Reeves also gives a great deal to Idaho.

Each month Reeves collects and distributes two tons of food to the needy. He also makes a monthly drive of nearly 500 miles round trip to Mountain Home Air Force Base to deliver computers, clothing, toys and books for those in need.

Reeves big project is providing free prescription drugs for those in need. His operations in Pocatello and Boise have managed to give hundred of people a three month supply of drugs; drugs that can cost as much as $300 per month.

He also helps Idaho veterans receive the services and benefits they deserve.

"A lot of veterans need help, but don't know where to find it," Reeves said. "I just help them jump through those hoops."

When asked what motivates him, Reeves offers a smile of surprise, as if to say who really needs motivation to do good.

"I've just recognized that there is a need and that not enough is done to fill that need," Reeves said.

Editor's note: This story was corrected to reflect the proper location of the Turks and Caicos islands in the British West Indies.

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2023 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.