Event seeks to raise funds for seniors

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SANDPOINT — Massages, music, raffle prizes and food.

That is what attendees of this Friday’s fundraiser, hosted by Sandpoint Medical Massage, can expect while also helping out local seniors.

After opening Sandpoint Medical Massage in 2017, Kirstin Longmeier said she wanted to do something for the community. This is the second year of the event, and Longmeier said she hopes to continue it on an annual basis.

“There is kind of a responsibility that goes along with having a business — you don’t just have to always profit and grow — you can go out and do some community work with that business ... it is kind of a way to celebrate and have fun with your business,” Longmeier said.

Prior to last year’s event, Longmeier said she was speaking with Winter Ridge owner Shawna Prummer, and together they came up with the idea of supporting the Sandpoint Area Seniors, Inc. Longmeier said she “loves” supporting the elderly demographic, adding how “great” the local senior center is for the community.

“It is right in the middle of town, and the idea is to raise money so they can keep adding to their programs,” she said.

Longmeier also started the Sandpoint Threshold Singers, who work with local hospice groups to sing to people at their bedside as they approach the end of their life.

“I guess you could say I am kind of an advocate for the end-of-life phase,” she said.

For the fundraising event, which will be held at Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters, Longmeier said all seven Sandpoint Medical Massage therapists will be on hand to do free table and chair massages in shifts throughout the evening. Music will be performed by the Wildcrafters, and Pete and Fiona Hicks will perform for a portion of the event. Winter Ridge is donating the food, and raffle prizes will include gift certificates for products and services donated by local businesses. Funds for the seniors will be raised through a suggested donation of $10 to $20, and $1 raffle ticket sales. Kids can attend the event for free. Longmeier said the idea is to have an “affordable family party,” while supporting the seniors.

Last year, Longmeier said they raised $400 for the seniors in two hours on a Tuesday night in February.

“It was small last year, but quite successful for being so small,” she said.

As this fundraiser will be on a Friday night after work hours, she said she hopes to more than double that amount to around $1,000.

The fundraiser will be held from 5:30-8:30 Friday at Evans Brothers, 524 Church St., Sandpoint.

Sandpoint Medical Massage opened in 2017, and Longmeier said it is a bit of a different take on the typical massage business. One main difference is they bill health insurance, and it is geared more toward injuries and chronic issues.

“People generally seek it out because they are looking for a therapeutic-based type of therapy, and then also the health insurance is a big draw for people who don’t want to pay out of pocket,” she said.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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