On Tuesday, longtime volunteers, supporters, former volunteers, patients and more gathered at the Christian Community Care Clinic for the celebration of its 20th anniversary.
The celebration was held at the clinic's current facility, 220 W. Sevier St. in Benton, one building over from where it all began.
"I am just glad people came out in support of the Christian Community Care Clinic's 20th anniversary," said longtime volunteer and discharge nurse Barbara Elrod. "It is good to let the community know what the clinic is all about. Without community volunteers supporting us with their time and money we would not be able to minister to the medically uninsured of Saline County."
She enjoyed seeing many faces she knew and many new supporters she had never met during the event.
Elrod said she is happy that so many people realize the clinic is still here after all this time.
"The Christian Care Community Clinic is a clinic for the medically uninsured in Saline County," she said.
It began when members of the community realized their was a need to help those who fall in the gap between the being insured and getting government help.
The Clinic is free to those who need it. It is open from 4:30 to 8 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month. Patients can seek medical care and get their prescriptions filled.
According to Elrod, the clinic sees 20 to 30 patients each month and fills 250 to 300 prescriptions. She added many come to get their prescriptions without having to see the doctor again.
Dr. Patti Vance, who runs the pharmacy called the night overwhelming. She was able to connect with the first pharmacy tech, Mary Miller, she worked with in the clinic.
"We feel blessed to be able to continue," Vance said, adding that the next generation is coming on now with her son, Luke, now serving as a board member.
Luke Vance said it is fun to share the vision. He has been coming to the clinic since he was little. He feels as a new board member he has to work to uphold the clinic's great work and reputation and keep it moving forward.
"I didn't think we would see 20 years, nor did I envision us having touched so many lives," Elrod said about when she and many other volunteers first opened the clinic.
First Security Bank furnished the food for the evening.
"We are so appreciative of that," Elrod said.
She appreciates everyone who came out to the event and everyone who has worked to keep the clinic running.
"I give God all the credit for providing everything we need for this faith-based clinic to help patients medically, emotionally and spiritually in the past as well as the future," Elrod said.