Published on October 05, 2021

Jim and Deanna Sinclair: No Place Like Home

sinclair family outside next to a tree

“I’m most proud that we’ve continued the value of giving back our time and dollars for another generation. Our kids are already modeling that with their own passion projects. That is the most fulfilling kind of legacy,” summarizes Jim.

Jim and Deanna Sinclair are proud to be northern Minnesota natives. Their collection of life adventures and travels has only given them a greater appreciation for what is special about their home in the Detroit Lakes community. 

“I’ve talked to people from a lot of different places, and I’m convinced there really is something unique about our area’s deep commitment to getting involved and building a better community,” says Jim.

Jim and Deanna have modeled these local values as champions of numerous Detroit Lakes causes. As a couple, they’ve made significant investments in the three pillars that they believe create a thriving community: healthcare, education and the business economy. Deanna has served many years with organizations like Rotary, League of Women Voters and the Detroit Lakes School Board. She also refereed youth and high school soccer for 15 years. Jim has invested his time with United Way, as a 23-year volunteer firefighter, and as a long-standing committee and board leader with the Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Foundation.

Supporting health care close to home is a shared passion for Jim and Deanna—each with their own priority projects at Essentia Health St. Mary’s-Detroit Lakes.

Having watched friends battle cancer, Deanna has a heart for the expansion of cancer care. She has been grateful for the rest and relief the infusion center has provided to friends who didn’t have to travel for access to excellent treatment. Jim, recalling his firsthand experiences as a volunteer first responder, is most proud of the 2018 construction of a new hospital helipad. As the Foundation’s Board Chair at that time, he led a successful community campaign to raise more than $600,000 for this major advancement for emergency care. 

“People still call and text me to say thanks when they see a helicopter flying overhead. The helipad has been used almost double our initial projections. When every minute counts, it is so much more effective for patients than the transport options we had before,” says Jim. 

Creating lasting community impact is exactly what inspired Jim and Deanna to leave a percentage of their estate to several of their favorite charities—including the Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Foundation. 

“The hardest part of making a legacy gift is just narrowing down your priorities,” says Jim. “After that, it was pretty easy to add some language when we updated our will. We got to leave resources to our kids with a percentage also going to the local causes we love.” 

Because they remember a time when people traveled out of Detroit Lakes for care, the Sinclairs have been pleased to watch the transformation and growth at Essentia Health St. Mary’s. They want to see their beloved community sustain and expand high-quality health care to even more people in the years ahead. 

“I’m most proud that we’ve continued the value of giving back our time and dollars for another generation. Our kids are already modeling that with their own passion projects. That is the most fulfilling kind of legacy,” summarizes Jim. 

Jim and Deanna believe everybody has a role to play in making Detroit Lakes a vibrant place to live for generations to come. The giving spirit of their community only adds to the natural beauty of home—and captures why Detroit Lakes is like nowhere else. 

For free online resources to guide you in making a planned gift like the Sinclairs, visit

https://essentiahealth.plannedgiving.org/.

How to Make an Online Donation

Visit our Give a Gift page and select from our list of Essentia Health campaigns and local foundations.

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