Jim & Pam Daly

Jim and Pam Daly know a good investment when they see one.

Case in point: Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH), where they've been investing time, talent and money for years.

Blame selfishness. They do.

Unabashed Cougar fans, the Dalys' road to Ellensburg began at WSU. She was 19 and majoring in elementary education when they met; he, 20, and a marketing major. They married 45 years ago this coming September, just before the start of their senior year. Jim landed a banking job in Enterprise, OR, after graduation, then moved on to a job with Pacific Bank in Ellensburg in 1975. They considered it just a stop along his career path until an unexpectedly early promotion to bank manager changed their plans.

Over time, they found plenty of reasons to turn to KVH. There was the night their son Curt landed in the hospital Emergency Department with croup, the C-section Pam had when their daughter Megan was born, the nine arthroscopic surgeries, two knee replacements and shoulder surgery that are part of Jim's medical history. In the early 1980s, Pam began volunteering with KVH. In 1986, she signed on as a regular volunteer with the hospital's Imaging Department. That same year, then serving as president of the KVH Auxiliary, she was one of eleven founding members of The Foundation at KVH.

Nearly three decades later, the Dalys decline to specify exactly how much they've contributed to the foundation. Suffice it to say, they're major donors. Pam, now auxiliary treasurer, continues to volunteer in Imaging. Jim, who left banking to become an investment counselor and stockbroker, has served 20-plus years as a member of the foundation board, his expertise instrumental in guiding the foundation's conservative and successful investment approach.

Supporting KVH is a no-brainer, the Dalys say. The seed for their involvement was planted in the soil of pragmatic self-interest.

"We did it for selfish reasons," Jim insists. "When you have children you know there are going to be times when they're going to need medical care and you want them to have good medical care. Our philosophy has always been that we wanted a good place for our family to turn to - and we knew as we got older we'd need a good place, too. It's putting our money where our mouth is."

Good investments pay good dividends.The Dalys are pleased with the return they've seen on both their time and money.

In the past five years alone, the foundation has raised more than $1.1 million through special events, major and estate gifts, an annual donation appeal and investment earning. In recent years that money has helped fund a new entrance to the Emergency Department, a security system for the Family Birthing Center, state-of-the-art orthopedic surgical equipment and renovation of the Medical Surgical Unit. The auxiliary, which operates the hospital gift shop, helps in various ways, from awarding scholarships to students studying medicine to providing teddy bears for the Emergency Department to knitting caps for newborns to providing flat screen TVs for patient rooms after the hospital was remodeled.

"We've seen some really great things happen that we've been able to be part of," Pam says. Jim says he's "proud of the quality of care and the people who give it - and I'm not just talking doctors. The whole staff really cares about you."

While there are many good causes, Pam prefers to give locally which makes KVH a slam-dunk. "We believe in this hospital and its focus on community," she says.

Jim nods agreement, smiling broadly. "Giving back," he says, "is what we do."

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