Smile for the Vermillion Food Pantry

Employees at Sanford Vermillion opted to smile for a Christmas portrait in exchange for a free-will offering to the Vermillion Food Pantry. The project resulted in a generous gift and a large selection of food items donated.

Mary Berglin (left), Vermillion Food Pantry coordinator, accepts a $1,000 check and food drive donations from Virginia Von Haden, Sanford Vermillion.

Virginia "Virg" Von Haden, clinic receptionist, loves to take pictures and is known for capturing fun and creative shots of employee events and gatherings at Sanford Vermillion.

Knowing the annual Employee Christmas celebration was coming up, Von Haden had the idea of being available at the party to take holiday portraits of attendees for a free-will donation to the food pantry.

The Sanford Vermillion employee PRIDE Committee loved the idea and decided to sweeten the pot. The decision was made to match every dollar raised through Von Haden's efforts.

Couples, friends and families were excited to have their picture taken and were especially generous when told how the photo fees would be used. For those not able to attend the party, Von Haden continued to snap the festive photos the following week at the medical center and was successful in raising $500.

This combined with the PRIDE Committee match resulted in a $1,000 donation to the Vermillion food pantry.

"Sanford Vermillion employees recognize how important the Food Pantry is for the community and are committed to supporting their ongoing needs," said Jill Christopherson, PRIDE Committee member, Sanford Vermillion.

"We are thrilled to start off the new year with this kind of support," said Mary Berglin, food pantry coordinator.

The Vermillion Community Food Pantry offers food supplies to low or moderate-income Clay County families. They helped to feed 4,000 persons in 2011, more people than they have ever served before.

Sanford Medical Center Vermillion, a medical facility including a family medicine clinic, 25-bed acute care hospital, 66-bed nursing home and 23-unit senior living apartment complex in Southeast South Dakota, is a member of Sanford Health, a non-profit, integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls.

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