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Pandemic claims Nagel clinic fundraiser

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With the health and safety of the community as its primary consideration, the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic has decided to cancel the 2020 Cork & Fork, the popular November fundraiser for the clinic that has set dramatic milestones in attendance and fundraising over the past two years, officials said.

In 2019 alone, the event netted a record $35,000, which was used to provide healthcare for hundreds of Bandera County’s uninsured families, a news release from the clinic said.

“As a gathering place for our community around Veterans Day, Cork & Fork has become legendary for its celebration of patriotism and pride in the Hill Country way of life,” says Nagel Clinic Board President Barbara Shepard. “The Nagel clinic is first and foremost committed to ensuring the health and safety of our community as well as volunteers and staff who work for months to produce this wonderful event. Due to risks associated with COVID-19, we must cancel Cork & Fork this year and look forward to bringing it back in November of 2021.”

Calling off Cork & Fork is unprecedented, the news release. The event has never been cancelled in the six years since it started.

But with an expected rise in cases during the coming cold and flu season, officials determined that an event that typically draws a crowd of more than 400 people would pose too great a health risk.

“We may not be able to celebrate in traditional ways this year, but Cork & Fork spirit cannot be contained!” says Clinic Executive Director, Chuck Lutke. “We want to encourage our community to put on their boots and Cork & Fork safely from their homes while continuing to support the clinic’s mission of helping our friends and families in need.”

Rally for the Clinic is the theme of the new campaign to bridge the gap in funding resulting from the absence of this year’s Cork & Fork.

The clinic is asking those who have attended in the past to consider contributing the cost of their tickets ($50 per person), table of eight, or sponsorship to the Rally for the Clinic and enjoy the benefits of giving, including priority seating for next year.

Contributions of any amount are needed, clinic officials said.

The clinic included an envelope addressed to the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic that enables supporters to provide a financial donation to the clinic in the Wednesday, Oct. 7, edition of the Bandera Bulletin.

A full list of rally donor benefits may be found at the clinic website at NagelClinic.org. A donation envelope also has been inserted in today’s Bandera Bulletin.

Donations to the clinic are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law.

The clinic was founded in 2008 by Texas Hill Country businessman Arthur W. Nagel and other concerned, community-minded friends. It remains the only nonprofit provider of low-cost primary and preventive healthcare for low-income residents ages 12 and older living in Bandera County, officials said.

To learn more or to donate to the Nagel clinic, call 830-796-3448 or visit www.nagelclinic.org.