NEWS UPDATE: Papers signed in Callaway to save nursing home

NEWS UPDATE: As of 12:30 p.m. approximately two-thirds of the necessary funds had been raised. As of 2;30 p.m. an agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samritan Society to acquire the rest home's operation had been signed. See this week's Custer County Chief for more on the story. CALLAWAY RALLIES TO SAVE NURSING HOMECallaway, Nebraska, is all about community. Monday night, an estimated 200-250 people, nearly half of the population 539 community, packed the bleachers at the Community Center to discuss the fate of the Callaway Good Life Center Nursing Home. The community was informed last Friday, it has until 5 p.m. today, Aug. 28, to sign acquisition papers fully agreeing with all terms set forth by the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, or the nursing home will close. The population at the home over the last two-three months has dwindled through the uncertainty of continuation.The acquisition is and has been complicated. In order for the community to take over the facility, it had to first create a 501c3 non-profit. This, by itself, was arduous. The organization has been formed; a board of directors put into place, and plans to operate the facility ready to go. Communication between Callaway's Good Life Center Board and Good Samaritan has been nearly non-existent. Good Sam has been unresponsive in all attempts for discussion between the two. The biggest challenge at present is having the necessary cash flow to operate. At Monday's meeting the details were explained, including why it will take an estimated $250,000 to keep the center open, and why pledges have to be in place before the agreement can be signed.Monday's citizenry was overwhelmingly responsive. A check written by Lynn Estergard lead the charge, with verbal pledges of $10,000 following. People lined up to sign pledge sheets before exiting the facility. "Callaway is a caring, giving community," stated Ken Pitkin at the conclusion of the evening. Amid the tears, the statement was made, poignantly proud, but help is needed.The community has to have pledges of $250,000 in hand by 5 p.m. today to keep their nursing home. For more information contact Marvin Neth at 308-836-2228, Ron Jorgensen at 308-380-0335, Mary Ross at 308-, 527-0881, Randy Kimball at 308-520-2506 or Marcia Keeny at 308-870-1845 for more information or to contribute.See this week's Custer County Chief for a full recap of the meeting, the steps taken by the organization and the passion that lies in trying to keep jobs in our Sandhills communities, and provide the quality of care our communities are known for.