More major donations roll in for cancer institute

MARSHALL – Financial support has continued to come in for a cancer institute planned at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center. Avera Marshall announced this week that two more large donations, totaling $100,000, have been contributed.

“We are so grateful for the businesses and individuals who are stepping forward with generous donations,” said Marty Seifert, executive director of the Avera Marshall Foundation. “People in our region feel strongly about having local cancer services available, and it’s exciting to see the campaign momentum.”

D&G Excavating and the Brian and Kris Gruhot family have contributed $75,000 for construction of the cancer institute, and Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative has donated $25,000, Avera Marshall said.

“We always try to give back to the communities that have given so much to our business,” Kris Gruhot said Wednesday. Supporting the cancer center seemed like a good way for D&G to do that, she said.

Tim O’Leary of Lyon-Lincoln Electric said having local access to cancer treatments is something that would help people living throughout the cooperative’s service area. Lyon-Lincoln Electric’s board of directors had a positive response toward making a donation.

“The impact is going to be tremendous,” O’Leary said of having the cancer institute in Marshall. “We think this is going to be a positive addition to the communities and area we serve.”

Kris Gruhot said that impact was also part of the reason her family and their business decided to donate to the campaign.

“The statistics are pretty scary,” Gruhot said – most people will likely have their lives touched by cancer in some way. But at the same time, she said, it’s not uncommon to hear of area residents having to stay with family or temporarily move closer to where they’re being treated for cancer.

“Marshall’s pretty unique. We’re an hour and a half away from Sioux Falls, or three hours away from Minneapolis,” she said. Having treatment options closer to home will make a big difference.

The Avera Marshall Foundation kicked off a capital campaign for the cancer institute in February. The foundation set a fundraising goal of $5.45 million, out of an estimated $12.9 million total cost. The cancer institute will be an addition to the existing medical center in Marshall and provide services including radiation and chemotherapy.

Contributions to the capital campaign are still being accepted. Individuals or businesses who would like to make a donation or get more information about the campaign, can contact Seifert at 507-537-9145.