Pre-PA Club set to host second annual Spike for St. Clare fundraiser


Makena Ziebart-Doyle, Sarah Botova, Trey Konshak, Caysi Orbison, and Austin Heim. Photo provided by Pre-PA Club.

Gianna Fussell, Sports Reporter

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Pre-Physician Assistant (PA) Club is set to host its second annual “Spike for St. Clare” event on Friday, March 3. President Austin Heim said, “As a part of the UWL Pre-PA Club, the executive team and I are excited to host the second annual Spike for St. Clare fundraiser!”

The Pre-PA Club at UWL is run by undergraduate students and the club is for those who are interested in the PA career along with guidance for PA admissions and volunteer opportunities. The meetings are held on every other Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. and may include guest speakers.

Vice President Dayne Kiecker said, “Our main focus is spreading awareness of the PA profession. We do this by bringing in practicing PAs and PA students from the areas to educate students on campus about the profession and everything it entails. We also have lots of opportunities for volunteering around the community.”

St. Clare Health Mission is located at 916 Ferry Street in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The organization was started in 1992 by Sister LeClare Beres, who dedicated her life to helping the poor. “Partaking in her vision, representatives of health and social service organizations throughout our community began a collaborative effort to address health care access for the poor and uninsured,” the website said. 

Volunteer healthcare providers give their time to work for St. Clare Health Mission. “The term ‘health mission’ describes not only the program but the motivation which guides it,” the website said. Over 80,000 visits and 18,000 people have been given care thanks to St. Clare Health Mission. 

There are many types of health care available through St. Clare Health Mission. The free walk-in clinic is open Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with registration opening at 4:30 p.m. There is no appointment needed for the walk-in clinic. There are opportunities to schedule appointments for those who need more treatment. The Continuity Clinic is open the first Wednesday of each month between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. along with the third Thursday evening of each month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

In addition, there is a free pharmacy, and appointments for behavioral health, endocrinology, podiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, and urology. There are mental health services provided, as well. St. Clare Health Mission is also partnered with other healthcare providers in the La Crosse area, such as Mayo, Gundersen, and Scenic Bluffs to provide alternate types of care by appointment such as dental, cardiology, and neurology care, for example. 

St. Clare Health Mission is designed for adults and children who do not have insurance or are not eligible for insurance. Any person who falls below 200% of the federal poverty level is also eligible for care. The free pharmacy at St. Clare Health Mission provides prescriptions for people who are unable to afford medications elsewhere. 

In addition, St. Clare Health Mission also provides a Rotary Mobile Clinic with the goal to bring free health care to uninsured people in rural and western Wisconsin areas. St. Clare Health Mission also has community health workers. “St. Clare Health Mission employs several individuals who are actively involved with the follow-up care of our patients. These individuals are called community health workers who are tailored to meet the unique needs of the communities they serve,” the website said. 

Last year, the Pre-PA Club raised $4,700 to donate to St. Clare Health Mission. Prior to donating to St. Clare Health Mission, the Pre-PA Club had raised $24,152 for other foundations. The “Spike for St. Clare” event is funded by donations through local businesses and community members. 

Heim said, “The St. Clare Health Mission is a free clinic that provides health care to underrepresented and uninsured community members. Their mission is to ensure all members of the community have access to medical care. Additionally, the St. Clare Health Mission works to create opportunities for practicing health professionals and aspiring pre-health students to invest in their community. We are thrilled to partner with this awesome health mission for the second year in a row!”

The fundraiser is held on the upper level of the Recreation Eagle Center (REC). The event includes a volleyball tournament for UWL students and community members who wish to participate. Each team can have six to eight players and there is a $30 entry fee per team. 

Those participating who are not UWL students pay a small charge to get into the REC, in addition to the $30. The first, second, and third-place teams all get a cash prize. First place gets $150, second place gets $100, and third place gets $75. “All the proceeds go to the free health clinic here in La Crosse, which is the St. Clare Health Mission. The winners get a cash prize but the rest of the money goes to the St. Clare Health Mission, along with any other donations that we received,” said Kiecker.  

“We have raffles that we set up from tons of local businesses. We use that as an opportunity for them to advertise along with giving away prizes, which people put in pools of money for. The money that is put in will go back to the St. Clare Health Mission,” Kiecker said. Heim said, “Additionally, we will have several raffle baskets on display including items from Howie’s, Big Al’s, Famous Dave’s, The Crow, Orange Pearl Salon, La Crosse Clothing Co., Buzzard Billy’s, and so much more!”

“I had a team last year, we were ‘The Hungry Hippos.’ This year I’ll be helping run the event, so I will not have a team. But we do have all 20 teams signed up and we’re looking forward to another good turnout this year.,” Kiecker said.

“We invite you and your friends to join us in the MAC this upcoming Friday for a great cause!” Heim said.

The UWL Pre-PA Club website can be found here. The St. Clare Health Mission website can be found here.