Volunteers who worked for years to open a local dialysis center are inviting Le Mars area residents to a celebration this Saturday.
Jim George, of Le Mars, Le Mars Area Dialysis (LADS) board member, said the dance is a way to highlight the success of the dialysis center.
"Now that it finally is up and running after a lot of set backs we want to celebrate that it's an ongoing system for the benefit of the entire community," he said.
Patients began receiving kidney care at the center at the corner of Central Avenue and First Street on March 21, 2012.
LADS, formed by volunteers in 2006, hosted dances around Valentine's Day for several years to raise money for a dialysis center, according to George.
"We're stressing more of a celebration this time -- not so much the fundraising aspect, but there will be auction items and silent auction items," George said. "That's always fun and interesting to participate in."
Nineteen people currently receive services at LADS, said Jean Theisen, dialysis center clinic manager.
"They come from as far away as Aurelia, Sioux Center, Kingsley, Marcus and Remsen and the rest are pretty much from Le Mars," she said.
Care is provided by four registered nurses and a patient care technician, Theisen said.
One of the people served by LADS no longer receives care in downtown Le Mars.
"Their kidney functions came back enough that they don't have to have dialysis anymore," Theisen said.
For those who continue care, services are available three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning with the first shift at 6 a.m.
The second shift begins at 11:30 a.m. and the third round of dialysis care begins between 4:30-4:45 p.m., Theisen said.
"At this time we are open until 8:30 p.m.," she said.
The average treatment time for dialysis is four hours.
Four patients receive care in one of the three shifts offered at the dialysis center.
The start of services for each dialysis patient is separated by 15 minutes.
LADS may offer kidney care on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday, if the number of patients increases much more, according to George.
"If we go to the three other days there will be two shifts on each day," he said.
The 19 dialysis center patients are "in the ballpark" of what LADS volunteers were expecting, George said.
"You're never quite sure how many dialysis patients that are receiving treatment elsewhere are going to come here," he said.
Proceeds from this year's Valentine' s Dance will pay back some of the money LADS borrowed to remodel the building where the LADS is located, he said.
Singer Somethin' Blue Band will provide music and vocals for the Le Mars Area Dialysis Services (LADS) Valentine's Dance.
The band performed for a dialysis fundraiser in 2011 and returns to entertain Saturday, according to George.
"They've got a pretty good following around here and they're a popular group," he said.
In addition to entertainment by the band, the Valentine's Day dance ticket includes light hors d'oeuvres.
The dance will be from 7:30-11:30 p.m.. in the upper level of the Le Mars Convention Center, 275 12th Street S.E.
LADS board members are offering for a donation of $25 or more for the Valentine's Dance.
The board members and their phone numbers include George 548-3375; Randy Reardon 540-4966; Kirk Klohs 540-4888; Karen Dreckman 540-4487; LeAnn Arens 540-1237 and Mike Donlin 540-4176.