Oudekerk

Myrna Oudekerk, right, receives the Good Samaritan Society-Forest City Employee Champion Award earlier this year. Oudekerk was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Press file photo

FOREST CITY | For years, Myrna Oudekerk has dedicated countless hours to Good Samaritan Society – Forest City.

And now, the residents and staff hope to give back to her after a recent breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery that has kept her out of work.

“We get real emotional about it because Myrna is the core of the kitchen, and the residents all love her and they all want to be there for her,” said Mary Esplan with the Good Samaritan Society-Forest City.

A benefit for Oudekerk will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Forest City Senior Community Center, 125 N. Seventh St.

Homemade soups, like chili, potato and vegetable beef, will be served with bread, milk, coffee and water as well as baked goods for a free-will donation. There will also be a silent auction with items such as gift certificates, collectables and handmade items.

Esplan said thanks to the generosity of Sysco, Branstad Farms and Good Samaritan Society, proceeds from the event will go directly to Oudekerk and her medical bills.

“She’s used most of her vacation time, so we’re trying to help with her finances and every-day living and medical bills,” she said.

Earlier this year, the Good Samaritan Society – Forest City awarded Oudekerk the Employee Champion through its Good Samaritan Society Way program, which highlights eight traits of Jesus that should be lived out each day: honesty, acceptance, courage, love, joy, perseverance, compassion and humility. She holds the distinction of being the society’s eldest employee and is always pitches in to help whenever she can.

For questions about the benefit or to donate an item, call 641-585-2232 or visit the Good Samaritan Society at 606 S. Seventh St. in Forest City.

Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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