Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Thorson elected hospital board chair

Dr. Jon Thorson of Sun Valley has been elected chair of St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center's board of directors.

Thorson, a retired ophthalmologist who has served on the board since 2001, will oversee the 18-member board of community volunteers.

Board members provide guidance for policy, development and service enhancement, as well as determine how hospital revenues will be reinvested back into local health care services, facilities and equipment.

"Jon has a strong commitment to health care in this community, and I am so grateful he has chosen to help lead this organization once again," John Kee, St. Luke's Wood River CEO, said in a news release. "It is especially critical to have strong leadership from the board as St. Luke's Wood River's new CEO, Cody Langbehn, transitions into his new role and our community."

Thorson will serve as board chair until Oct. 1, 2013.

Hospital raises more than $100,000

This year's Winter Ball, an annual fundraising event put on by the St. Luke's Wood River Volunteer Core Board, raised more than $126,000. The money will go toward expanding outpatient mental-health services in the Wood River Valley.

"Mental health is, by far, the most significant unmet need that we have in our community," Dr. Richard Paris at St. Luke's Clinic Family Medicine, said in a news release.

The Winter Ball is the largest fundraiser of the year for the volunteers. This year's event was held Dec. 10 at Sun Valley Inn's Limelight Room.

"We exceeded our financial expectations, and the enthusiasm of all the guests, volunteers and sponsors at the event was overwhelming," Sheila Fryberger, Winter Ball event co-chair, said in a news release. Volunteers will present a donation, along with the proceeds from the gift shop, to the St. Luke's Wood River Foundation in January.

Secret Santas pay off shoppers' debts

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP)— Dozens of families across the state are benefiting from secret Santas who are paying their layaway bills for Christmas toys.

The unsuspecting families say they're getting phone calls or arriving at the layaway counter to find their bills have been paid.

In northern Idaho, Debbie Byram told the Lewiston Tribune she had presents set aside for her daughters at a local Kmart but couldn't afford to get them out of layaway. That is, until a stranger paid more than half of her $97 bill.

Byram says she started crying after she got the phone call Saturday from a store employee.

In southwestern Idaho, KBOI-TV reports nearly two dozen anonymous donors have made layaway payments for others during the past few weeks at a Kmart store in Boise.

Hailey library sets holiday hours

The Hailey Public Library will close at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Saturday, Dec. 24, and reopen Tuesday, Dec. 27.

For more information about the library's services, call 788-2036 or visit

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