Spring Grove Ambulance member Kristi Folz explained to the life guards and staff at Spring Grove SWIM Center how the AED machine worked and how it would walk a person through the procedure step-by-step.PHOTO: MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
Spring Grove Ambulance member Kristi Folz explained to the life guards and staff at Spring Grove SWIM Center how the AED machine worked and how it would walk a person through the procedure step-by-step.PHOTO: MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD

The Spring Grove SWIM Center received an invaluable gift on Saturday from the Tweeten Foundation - an AED (automatic electronic defibrillator) machine. Spring Grove Ambulance member, Kristi Folz, was also on-hand for the presentation and explained to the life guards and staff how to use the AED machine and precautions that should be taken when using it.

"This is the ninth unit in Spring Grove in public places," she remarked. "This unit is a public unit meaning that it will walk you through step-by-step what you need to do when using it. Be aware that there are also units like this at the school so if the situation ever arises you now know how to use them."

Along with the AED machine for the SWIM Center, the Tweeten Foundation also donated money for a set of CPR mannequins - four infant sized, four toddler sized, and four adult sized - and a portable airway suction unit. The check given from the Tweeten Foundation to cover all of these items was $3,828.20.

The Tweeten Foundation has generously given many things over the years since it was started in 1986. The Foundation began after the sale of Tweeten Memorial Hospital to Gundersen Lutheran of La Crosse. The money from that sale was invested and the non-profit Foundation began.

"The Foundation can only spend the interest for health care," explained Foundation secretary James Wilhelmson.

The current directors of the Tweeten Foundation are David Solberg, Dean Wiste, Wilhelmson, Marge Brevig, Janice Doely, Elaine Kjome, Dr. James Gray, Carlyn Kraabel, and Dennis Rud. The Foundation owns and leases the former clinic down town.

"The Foundation was instrumental in getting the Sunrise Care Facility started by giving a loan to Sunrise Care Facility, which has been paid up," said Wilhelmson.

They also owned the land where the Tweeten Handicapped Apartments are located on the east side of Spring Grove. They donated this land to help get the apartments built in 1986.

"After several years of planning, the Tweeten Foundation donated the land for the Spring Grove Assisted Living in 2004," added Wilhelmson. "Both the handicapped housing and the assisted living are a great asset to Spring Grove."

The Tweeten Foundation has been very supportive of health-related needs over the years. Other donations that they have given include (this is not a complete list), $10,000 a year for five years to the Handicapped Housing; $33,164 in 1989 toward a new ambulance; $180,000 in 1991 for Tweeten Lutheran Clinic expansion; $5,000 in 1999 to Lutheran Health Care Center for a lift chair; $10,000 in 2001 for three years for a new ambulance; $2,246 in 2001 to both the Spring Grove Police Department and the Spring Grove School for each to purchase an AED machine; $3,000 in 2007 toward a new ambulance; $7,000 in 2008 to the ambulance; in 2010, purchased 12 chairs, two oval tables, two glider chairs and a television for the handicapped housing; $4,620 in 2011 for half of the cost of a bladder scanner at Tweeten Lutheran Health Care Center; and in 2013, $3,000 for an educational speaker on Alzheimer disease and dementia as part of the 50th anniversary of Tweeten Health Care Center.

For more information about the Tweeten Foundation, contact board president David Solberg at (507) 498-5622.