Businesses start the giving for cancer institute

State Bank of Taunton and Northstar Insurance of Cottonwood are getting Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center’s capital fundraising campaign for its new cancer institute off to a strong start.

Northstar Insurance of Cottonwood donated $125,000, and State Bank of Taunton donated $100,000, Avera announced Wednesday.

“We’re so pleased with the incredible response to the project,” Marty Seifert, executive director of the Avera Marshall Foundation, said in a news release. “People feel strongly about the need for cancer services in our region. The enthusiasm we’ve seen is energizing as we move forward with continued fundraising. We are so thankful for the State Bank of Taunton and Northstar Insurance for taking the lead in giving.”

Avera’s capital campaign officially kicked off Feb. 4.

Avera Marshall Foundation has set a fundraising goal of $5.45 million for the cancer institute, out of an estimated $12.9 million total cost.

The Avera Cancer Institute will be an addition to the existing medical center in Marshall. The cancer institute will offer a range of adult treatment services, including radiation and chemotherapy. The project will bring much-needed cancer treatments to the region, Seifert said. He said an estimated more than 600 people in Lincoln and Lyon counties will be diagnosed with cancer in 2014. More than half of those cases would require radiation treatment.

The cancer institute’s core service area would be Lyon and Lincoln County, Seifert said, but having cancer care options closer to home will benefit people from Lac Qui Parle County to Cottonwood County, and from Redwood County to the South Dakota border.

Marty Seifert said more than $8.4 million has already been raised, including funds set aside for cancer care as part of the city’s sale of the hospital to Avera.

Contributions to the capital campaign can be paid over a five-year period, Seifert said. Gifts of cash, commodities, stock and property will all be accepted, he said.

Businesses and individuals wishing to donate, volunteer or find out more information to the Building Hope Capital Campaign for Avera Cancer Institute Marshall can contact Seifert at 507-537-9145.