Christian Appalachian Project names 2021 Champions of Appalachia

APPALACHIA – (Nov. 11, 2021) Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) has selected Eula Hall Health Center and Big Sandy Health Care Inc., and MEI Total Elevator Solutions as its 2021 Champions of Appalachia. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that have had a positive, long-term impact in the lives of people in the region.

“We are proud to honor these Champions of Appalachia and shine the spotlight on the great work they are doing to transform the lives of people in need,” said Guy Adams, CAP’s president/CEO. “Christian Appalachian Project recognizes that it takes many different organizations to do this good work. The Champions of Appalachia Award celebrates the great philanthropic endeavors of our honorees.”

Eula Hall was an Appalachian woman with an eighth-grade education that wouldn’t take no for an answer. She saw needless suffering and preventable death as a child and grew up with the firm belief that no one should be without basic health care. In 1973, she founded a clinic to serve her neighbors. Originally called Mud Creek Clinic, it became part of the non-profit Big Sandy Health Care Inc. in the late 1970s to provide more services and serve more people.

“That clinic absolutely saved lives,” said Hall’s son, Dean Hall, reflecting on a childhood spent at the clinic. “She would have been truly honored to be recognized for her life’s work. She was recognized by a lot of people but being a Champion of Appalachia would have stood out to her.”

CAP’s other champion is MEI Total Elevator Solutions in Mankato, Minnesota. Founder John Romnes, a dedicated hands-on philanthropist, heard about CAP’s work when he was developing a vision to build compassion and generosity in the company. MEI already had a robust donation program; Romnes wondered what the impact would be if employees could work firsthand to make a difference.

Since 2019, 46 of MEI’s 300 employees have served on a mission trip to Eastern Kentucky. The company now sends teams twice a year to serve with CAP’s Housing Program to mitigate the presence of substandard housing in many Appalachian communities.

“Our founder has a heart for giving back and that has become a part of MEI,” said Nick Rehder, engineering manager for MEI, who accepted the award on the company’s behalf while on a service trip with CAP. “Thank you so much for this award. We appreciate what CAP is doing and that you make it easy for us to be a part.”

The annual Champions of Appalachia celebration is underwritten by NetGain Technologies, a leading provider of Information Technology services and solutions since 1984. Netgain’s sponsorship supports CAP’s mission to build hope, transform lives, and share Christ’s love through service in Appalachia.


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