Trifecta of donors bolsters Avera campaign

MARSHALL – Fundraising for Avera’s new $12.9 million cancer center took a $75,000 leap Friday, as the medical center announced three more hefty donations.

Buffalo Ridge Concrete, Dr. John and Kristie Frerich and Cattoor Oil Company each donated $25,000 to the Avera Marshall Foundation’s Building Hope campaign that is raising funds to build a cancer center at Avera Marshall to be named the Avera Cancer Institute Marshall.

“We appreciate the generous support of the many businesses and individuals who are making donations to the Building Hope campaign,” Marty Seifert, executive director of the Avera Foundation, said in a news release. “Each gift brings us closer to breaking ground for a local cancer center for people of our region. Our goal is in sight; we need others to step forward to help make it a reality.”

The donations announced Friday come two days after Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center employees and members of the Avera Marshall Auxiliary donated a total of $304,000 toward the cancer institute. The Auxiliary donation matched money raised from the employee campaign.

The Avera Foundation set a fundraising goal this past winter of $5.45 million, out of an estimated $12.9 million total cost. Avera’s funding plan includes a $7 million (plus interest) gift from the city previously set aside after the sale of the medical center from the city of Marshall to the Avera health system. The $7 million was earmarked for oncology program development when the change of ownership occurred three years ago.

North Star Insurance of Cottonwood and State Bank of Taunton made contributions of $125,000 and $100,000, respectively, to kick off the major donation portion of fundraising. In April, the Schwan Food Co. committed $600,000 to the cancer center through its Corporate Giving Foundation. D&G Excavating, and the Brian and Kris Gruhot family contributed $75,000, and Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative donated $25,000.

In May, Randy and Janel Wartner donated $25,000; First Independent Bank donated $50,000; and the Knochenmus Family donated $75,000. Swede Home Lutheran Church in Yellow Medicine County contributed $25,000 earlier this month.

The new cancer institute will be an addition to the existing medical center in Marshall and will provide services including radiation and chemotherapy.

The cancer institute’s main service area is Lyon and Lincoln counties, but Avera officials have said that having cancer care options in the region will benefit people from Lac qui Parle County to Cottonwood County and from Redwood County to the South Dakota border.

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