Community Members Urge American Cancer Society to Return Hope Lodge

Marshfield (OnFocus) – Members of the Marshfield community are making a public appeal to the American Cancer Society (ACS) for the return of the Hope Lodge facility in Marshfield. Signed by over 150 community leaders and volunteers, the letter expresses “profound disappointment and surprise” at the ACS decision to close the Hope Lodge in Marshfield.

The American Cancer Society announced last week that it is closing the Hope Lodge in Marshfield, citing financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, declining operations and operational funding shortfalls as the reason. The center has been closed since March, due to COVID-19. It is the only ACS Hope Lodge in Wisconsin, with 30 other locations nationwide.

Last week, community members reacted with outrage to the closure. Those who signed the appeal letter hope that the ACS will reconsider the decision to close.

“We hope that ACS will realize that returning the facility to our community is the right thing to do for cancer patients and their families. Our volunteers are anxious to continue the compassionate care that we have delivered through Hope Lodge,” said Al Nystrom, Board Member.

The letter is as follows:

July 1, 2020

Hope Lodge – Community funded, community supported

We are writing to express our profound disappointment and surprise at the American Cancer Society’s abrupt decision to close Hope Lodge in Marshfield, a facility built, financially supported and staffed by the Marshfield community and with support from Marshfield Clinic Health System and many local businesses.

This decision will leave patients and families, who have relied on Hope Lodge for life-changing support in their most vulnerable times, suddenly without an essential resource. It seems to us that ensuring families have access to this invaluable facility should be more central to the mission of American Cancer Society than the profits from the sale of a building. Sadly this does not appear to be the case.

To shutter this facility abruptly is one level of disregard. To do so after the Marshfield community put its time, labor, financial support and soul into making Hope Lodge what it became seems astonishingly irresponsible, shortsighted and in bad faith.

The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. We don’t see who this move is saving and there isn’t anything about this worth celebrating. Certainly the hundreds and maybe thousands of families that would have used this facility over the next many years are not in a celebratory mood.

The only responsible and ethical way for American Cancer Society to proceed is to donate the Hope Lodge facility to the community of Marshfield, and return all donor restricted funds. The community stands ready to accept the facility and responsibilities associated with operating it to serve future patients and families needing support.

Hope Lodge was built in 2003 by philanthropy and sustained since its opening by support from the community and volunteers. It is a community asset, and doing this would allow the community to come together to make this facility thrive, as we always have.

· Ken Heiman, Nasonville Dairy, major contributor
· Joellen Heiman, Vita Bella Committee member, Cancer Survivor
· Jerry and Diane Meissner, Vita Bella Committee
· Dr. Anna Seydel, Marshfield
· Dave and Becky Krause, Hewitt
· Al and Amy Nystrom, Marshfield
· Pat Allen, Marshfield, Vita Bella Committee member
· Dr. Joseph J. Mazza, Department of Clinical Research, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Retired Oncologist and Hematologist.
· Virginia Mazza, RN, CHUC.
· Rick and Tamie Roehl, Marshfield
· Mike and Jodi Gross, Neillsville
· Ashley Winch, Executive Director, Marshfield Area United Way
· Trevor and Tonia Wuethrich, Greenwood
· Dr. Erik and Beth Stratman, Marshfield
· Scott Larson, Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry
· Sue Buehler, Marshfield
· Scott and Heather Wucherpfennig, Marshfield
· Terry and Vicki Bohman, Marshfield
· Amy Nienast, Marshfield
· Jamie and Keesha Adler, Marshfield
· Tracy and Kevin Boyer, Hewitt
· Bill and Claudia Sennholz, Marshfield
· Heather Adler Relay for Life Co-Chair Marshfield
· Maribeth Pankratz, Relay for Life Co-Chair Marshfield
· Denise Horn, Relay for Life Luminaria Marshfield
· Jeff Cammers, Altoona
· Alyse Esser, Relay for Life committee Marshfield
· Kay Leick, Stratford
· Linda Hinrichsen Relay for Life committee Marshfield
· Sue Fruehbrodt, Marshfield
· Marshfield Area United Way Board of Directors
· Shawn & Nicole Meyer, Marshfield
· Dr. William and Karen Hocking, Marshfield
· Mike and Ann Schmidt, Marshfield
· Dr. Ali and Dr. Dana Bseiso, Marshfield
· Brooke Binder, Marshfield
· Bill and Sue Heiting , Marshfield
· Barbara Agen, RN, MSN, Marshfield Clinic
· Kathy & Terry Poehnelt, Marshfield
· Josh and Sheri Meissner, Dairy farm family
· Kim and Cheryl Heiman Family Foundation
· Danielle Nystrom, Marshfield
· Jennifer and Matt Schaefgen, Plymouth, MN
· Marty and Sarah Chy, Marshfield
· Mary Lynn Kretchmar
· Randy LeMoine – American Family Insurance, husband and son of cancer patients
· Jessica LeMoine – Leukemia Lymphoma Triathlete, Hope Lodge Family Member Resident, Cancer Patient
· Dennis and Becky Wee – Hope Lodge Residents 2006, parents to cancer patient
· Michelle and Jeff Hamus – V&H Automotive
· Pat and Floyd Hamus – retired V&H Inc.
· Shirley Mook, Marshfield
· Tania Davis, Marshfield
· Desirae Weisenberger
· Dr. Jamal Ahmed – ENT-Head and Neck Oncology & Oncologic Surgery
· Janelle Edwards, Vita Bella supporter, Founding Supporter
· Jason Frankewicz- Joe’s Refrigeration, Withee
· John Baur , Marshfield
· Jeff and Rochelle Hill and family , Marshfield
· Tim Voigt- Rural Mutual Insurance- cancer patient
· Bradley and Bonnie Guse- Marshfield
· Ron and Karen Fischer- House of Heating, Marshfield
· Dr. Nathan Schreiber, Dept of Otolaryngology, Marshfield Clinic
· John & Lisa Thornton Fundraising Committee and volunteer
· Dr. Timothy R Boyle and Angie Boyle RN
· Lyle and Julie Lang, Marshfield
· Ted Brussow, Loyal
· Northside Elevator, Loyal
· Jim McDonald – Hope Lodge Supporter
· Rhonda and Allan Michalski, Marshfield
· Jake and Lori Gropp, Vita Bella Committee, Marshfield
· Dr. Mike and Janet Grant, Marshfield
· Dawn McDonald – Vita Bella Committee Member / cancer survivor
· Ralph and Diane Mueller, Marshfield
· Kevin and Tracy Boyer, Marshfield
· Aaron and Val Homolka, Marshfield
· Ron and Teri Wilczek, Marshfield
· Dr. Jessica Wernberg, Marshfield
· Dave and Kelly Noreen, Marshfield
· Cindy Puent, Marshfield
· Pat and Janice Board, Marshfield
· Dallas and Lois Wuethrich, Greenwood
· Pat and Cassie Gall, Marshfield
· Troy Steinmeyer -Alta Genetics
· Jennifer Steinmeyer -Steinmeyer family
· Joanne Binder-ENT dept., Marshfield
· Jeffrey Binder, Marshfield
· Dr. Kori and Heather Krueger, Marshfield
· Cherie Baltus, Marshfield
· Randy A Gershman , Marshfield
· Dennis & Roberta DeVetter, Marshfield
· Tiffany and Daniel Halan, Marshfield
· Iilee Pederson, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Marshfield
· Jennifer Esker, Marshfield
· Amy Beauchamp, Marshfield
· Jana Schmitz, Greenwood
· Ashley Welter RN, Belmont, NC
· Dawn Weiler, Marshfield
· Sarah Grosbier, Marshfield
· Morgan Weiler, Marshfield
· Casey Blomberg, Marshfield
· Bridget Pember, Marshfield
· Lynn Stabnow, Greenwood
· Scott Krum, Marshfield
· Ken and Karen Tritz, Hewitt
· JoAnn Gougeon, Marshfield
· Ken Krahn, Marshfield
· Melissa & Matt Breen, Marshfield
· Julie and Tim Brussow, Marshfield
· Dr. Narayana and Hema Murali, Marshfield
· Carla and Duane Wepfer, Marshfield
· Chris and Erin Howard, Marshfield
· Dan Kirschnik, Marshfield
· Dr. Bill & Rachelle Melms, Marshfield
· Tammy Simon, Marshfield
· Gordon and Theresa Edwards, Marshfield
· Ryan Neville, Marshfield
· Ryan Natzke, cancer survivor
· Pat and Janice Board, Marshfield
· Jason Shrader, Marshfield
· Dawn Sullivan, family of former Hope Lodge resident
· Don and Linda Mullins, Mosinee
· John and Wendy Every, Loyal
· Scott and Jeni Schoenherr, Marshfield business owners
· Dr. Dave and Tina Cleveland, Marshfield
· Larry and Kathie LaRocque, Marshfield
· Jeron & Crystal Jackson, Marshfield
· Karolyn & Chad Naedler, Granton
· Denise & Mark Eiberg, Marshfield
· Maureen Mercier Former Vita Bella Chair, Minneapolis, MN
· Dr. Richard Mercier, Oncologist, Minneapolis, MN

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