The Center for Healing & Hope’s 2019 Fiesta Feast will celebrate 20 years of providing healthcare and support for the community while raising money to continue that work in the future.

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Fiesta Feast will be Saturday, April 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at College Mennonite Church, 1900 S. Main St., Goshen. The event includes a Mexican meal provided and prepared by San Marcos Mexican Grill with desserts from Dutch Maid Bakery, along with door prizes, a live fundraising auction and fellowship with others who care about the health and wellbeing of our neighbors. This year’s Fiesta Feast will also feature a special program commemorating 20 years of the Center for Healing & Hope.

“This annual event has become both an opportunity to express appreciation to our community for another year of supporting our mission and a call for continued and new partnerships,” said Bryan Mierau, executive director of the Center for Healing & Hope. “Together we are contributing to a healthier community!”

The Center for Healing & Hope opened as the St. John’s Clinic in March 1999 as an outreach of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Goshen. Father Ricardo Medina, Dr. John Mann and parish nurse Terry Wedel ran the original urgent care clinic for the area’s medically underserved and were soon overwhelmed by the need. The clinic underwent a few name changes and multiple locations in the following years, but has been known as the Center for Healing & Hope since 2003 and located inside Plymouth United Church of Christ since 2012.

The Center is now offering more services than ever. In 2017, the Center embraced the mission of Elkhart County HOPE (Helping Our People Everywhere) and began providing resources and assistance for immigrants in the community, alongside its healthcare services. That December, the Center launched the Goshen Resident Identification card program. While intended for everyone, the cards are of particular help to people who are not able to get driver’s licenses or other forms of official identification, including immigrants, elderly, formerly incarcerated and homeless people. The Center has now distributed more than 1,000 of the ID cards. In 2018, the clinic also expanded to include a chronic care division to provide consistent, ongoing care for people with diabetes and other chronic conditions.

Since its formation, the Center has continued to thrive thanks to its dedicated volunteers and supportive donors, including local churches, companies and individuals. More than 100 people volunteered 3,280 hours in 2018 to help provide more than 1,800 patient visits and register more than 700 people for Goshen Resident ID cards.

Reflecting on the Center’s 20 years, Mierau said, “We honor past volunteers, donors, staff and the people who came to us for care.  While our programs evolve in response to current needs, our mission remains the same—to provide medical and advocacy services in a Christ-like manner to meet peoples’ needs in our community.” Every ticket purchased helps the Center for Healing & Hope continue to provide affordable healthcare and advocacy in the community. Tickets are available here and at the event, if still available, for $20 per adult, $10 for children ages 6 to 14 years old and free for children younger than 6. Tables are also available for $200.