WARSAW — It was a big night in the Tiger Den Friday, Feb. 12, and not just because of basketball.
Just before the varsity game began, officials from Warsaw Community Schools and Lutheran Health Network Kosciusko Community Hospital gathered on the playing floor to announce a partnership that will bring $1 million to WCS athletic programs.
“We’re excited with this partnership, which from what I understand has the potential to benefit not just the schools but our entire community,” WCS Athletic Director Dave Anson said. “Hopefully this will help us to address some of the concerns that we have regarding improvement of our athletic facilities. There are things we can do to enhance many programs and provide a lot of opportunities for other parts of the school system and the community as well.”
The announcement ushered in a 10-year partnership between KCH and WCS through what is known as the “Staying Committed to You” initiative. WCS plans to put the funds toward health education, wellness, academics, athletic programs and capital projects.
“Warsaw Community Schools is grateful for the longstanding relations with Lutheran Health Network through the KCH campus,” WCS Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert said. “For many years, KCH has been the sole provider of athletic trainers for our student athletes. This partnership will expand on that foundation to provide students, staff and community patrons the resources and facilities required to promote health and wellness.”
Other parts of the sponsorship include but are not limited to athletic training and sports medicine services through the KCH Regional Rehabilitation Center; a MedStat Fast Pass for WCS employees for MedStat locations in Warsaw, Syracuse and Nappanee; and CPR training.
Anson added that WCS hosts up to 14 Indiana High School Athletic Association post-season events per year.
“Not only is serving as host a positive for our community when we are chosen, it is a blessing for our own teams and programs, reducing their need to travel while having the chance to compete at home,” he said. “Should this partnership have an impact on us being able to provide first-class facility improvements, that would be tremendous.”
WCS Board of School Trustees President Jennifer Tandy expressed appreciation to KCH for partnering with Warsaw Community Schools.
“Our partnership with Lutheran Health Network KCH provides an opportunity for us to further support our mission statement by enriching the lives of our students through a focus on healthy living and physical activity through sports,” Tandy said.
Representatives from KCH also expressed enthusiasm toward the partnership.
“The reasoning behind supporting Warsaw Community Schools in a meaningful way is the knowledge that thousands of area youth will be encouraged to adopt a healthier lifestyle,” KCH CEO Kirk Ray said in a news release. “Not only will this have a positive, long-term effect on Warsaw Community Schools’ youth, this sponsorship will strengthen a plethora of extracurricular and co-curricular programs to be enjoyed by all involved in area sports.”
KCH Board of Trustees Chairman Ron Robinson also expressed enthusiasm for the partnership.
“The KCH board of trustees believes that KCH’s sponsorship will make a very positive, long-term impact on area youth while demonstrating Lutheran Health Network Kosciusko Community Hospital’s ongoing commitment to improving the health of local residents,” Robinson said.