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Bonner General Health Foundation Presents Find Your Strength Fun Run

Find Your Strength Fun Run

From Strides to Smiles

Running together for health, hope and happiness in Bonner County

By Damen Rodriguez|Photos by Willow Solly Photography In the heartland of Bonner County, the annual Find Your Strength Fun Run, organized by the Bonner General Health Foundation, stands as a beacon of health and hope. The foundation, which was revived in 2007, is in its second year of this extravaganza, and it has quickly become an integral part of the community, igniting a spark of inspiration and camaraderie among its participants. The Find Your Strength Fun Run is more than just a race; it embodies the spirit of unity and resilience that thrives in the picturesque corner of the world that is Bonner County.

Patty Hutchens, vice president of the foundation Board, and Amelia Boyd, the passionate race director and Board member, shared their insights into the event's evolution and the profound difference it makes in countless lives. Patty expressed the foundation's mission with the Find Your Strength event: "Our goal is to promote fitness and exercise while raising awareness about the comprehensive services Bonner General Health provides,” adding that the foundation exists to secure funds for crucial equipment and services that may not be covered in the hospital's operating budget, ensuring that every individual and their loved ones receive the care they truly deserve. The foundation's relentless pursuit of excellence has not gone unnoticed, as it has raised a staggering $1.5 million over the years, strategically invested in various projects that positively impact the community's well-being. One notable project was the acquisition of a second 3D mammography machine at the imaging center, catalyzed by the success of the 2023 Heart Ball. This effort resulted in a remarkable 40 percent increase in the number of mammograms performed, enhancing health care accessibility for women in the community.

Beyond traditional health care, the foundation's ambition and compassion led to the groundbreaking decision to purchase an Exoskeleton, a cutting-edge technology poised to revolutionize rehabilitation. Patty shared her excitement, "We first learned about the Exoskeleton a few years ago when the Physical Therapy Department presented us with the information."

The Exoskeleton holds deep personal significance for the community, as local resident Chris Owens, paralyzed in a logging accident, inspired this endeavor. Through the Exoskeleton therapy, Chris experienced a life-changing transformation, regaining significant strength and mobility, a feat he had not accomplished in years. He received the treatment years after being paralyzed and it helped strengthen his core. The foundation's vision extends far beyond the borders of Bonner County, aiming to make a broader impact on the region's health care landscape. Patty passionately shared, "Once the therapists are trained in using the Exoskeleton, Bonner General Health will be reaching out to other care providers in Idaho, Western Montana and Eastern Washington." The outreach initiative seeks to spread awareness about Bonner General's pioneering Physical Therapy Department, fostering a ripple effect that extends the life-transforming benefits of Exoskeleton treatment to a broader population.

Among their numerous projects, the Find Your Strength Fun Run shines as one of the foundation’s many endeavors. More than just a fundraising event, it serves as a platform to promote health and wellness throughout the community. Amelia emphasized, "Our goal is to promote fitness and exercise," highlighting the excitement surrounding the collaboration with Sandpoint Strength and Conditioning and Flourish Nutrition. Participants receive "Couch to 5k" training tips and nutritious recipes, empowering them to embrace a healthier lifestyle while contributing to a noble cause. The event's significance reaches far beyond fundraising, offering hope to those seeking treatment that could potentially restore mobility and significantly enhance strength.

The eagerly anticipated Find Your Strength Fun Run, scheduled for September 23, promises a joyous 5k and superhero-themed 1k run, embracing the spirit of togetherness and community support. Meandering through the picturesque Sand Creek trail, the race offers a captivating backdrop to the noble cause it supports. The event culminates in a family fun after-party at Trinity at City Beach, inviting everyone to revel in the sense of community and camaraderie that lies at the heart of the event.

As participants lace up their running shoes and don superhero-themed attire, they become champions of change, advocates for better health care and beacons of hope for those in need. The collective heartbeat of the community echoes through the scenic expanse of Bonner County, resonating with a resolute message of unity and compassion. With every stride taken, the runners carry the dreams of those who have benefited from the foundation's tireless efforts. In Amelia Boyd's words, "Participants can expect to have a great time! The 1k is a 'super hero' theme again, and we encourage all participating to wear their favorite superhero costume. The best part is watching these little superheroes run through the finish line with giant smiles on their faces." The fun-filled after-party will feature face painting, bouncy houses, magic acts and more for participants, families and friends alike.

The Find Your Strength Fun Run embodies the spirit of a community rallying together, paving the way for a brighter and healthier future for all. With their hearts united, the residents of Bonner County can embrace the spirit of camaraderie, compassion and courage as they run toward a horizon where hope thrives, health flourishes and strength prevails. This extraordinary event goes beyond the boundaries of any track or trail, leaving an indelible mark on the community's collective spirit. As participants and supporters join hands, the Find Your Strength Fun Run becomes not just a celebration of life and progress but a testament to the power of unity and the potential for change.

To participate in this year’s Find Your Strength Fun Run, register online at There are also many sponsorship opportunities available. Please contact Patty Hutchens at for more information.

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