Hospital leaders create fund to help employees with hail damaged vehicles

Posted at 6:22 PM, May 22, 2017

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. -- The hail storm two weeks ago left hundreds of Lutheran Medical Center employees in Wheat Ridge with tattered cars and shattered windshields. Many insurance companies deemed the 500 vehicles parked in the medical center’s parking undrivable.

Now, hospital leaders are stepping in. Medical center CEO Grant Wicklund started a fund to help out lower-wage employees who may have a hard time finding money to replace their windshields and render their cars useful again.

“It just occurred to me that ‘geez, I bet there are a number of people here for which that $250 is really going to hurt,” said Wicklund. “Families support the people who struggle when they’re in times of need, and this was one of those times.”

The fund has almost $20,000 built up with donations from the hospital, the hospital’s foundation, physicians and John Bandimere, owner of Bandimere Speedway.

“Everyone rose to the occasion immediately. I didn’t ask anyone for money,” said Wicklund.

“That’s something they didn’t have to do. I thought it was great that they’re doing this and yeah, it was nice that they paid for the window to be repaired,” said Elizabeth Hyatt, whose car was hit by the storm.

Along with vehicles that were damaged in the storm, Wicklund said the hospital building sustained about $5 million in damages and that estimate could continue to climb.