Avera fundraising campaign marches on

MARSHALL – Avera’s Building Hope Capital Campaign has reached into Main Street.

Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center announced Monday four Marshall businesses have stepped up and donated to the hospital’s new cancer institute.

Hy-Vee and True Value each donated $25,000; and Terry Haas with Bot Appliance, and Patzer’s Hardware Hank/Patzer’s Furniture and Appliance each donated $10,000, Avera said.

Avera Foundation Executive Director Marty Seifert said the most recent donations leaves Avera just $629,000 shy of reaching its mark needed for a September groundbreaking.

“We’re still pushing forward; our committee has been aggressively trying to reach out to people. As (the donations) come in, it’s obviously exciting to see it build toward a conclusion. We’re very humbled at the donations that are coming from folks from all corners.”

The $12.9 million cancer institute will be an addition to the existing medical center in Marshall and will provide services including radiation and chemotherapy.

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.

Seifert said he and the foundation committee are confident they will reach their groundbreaking goal as the campaign pushes forward. The campaign kicked off in February.

“We’ve still got a couple of months to go,” he said. “We’re at 94.4 percent to groundbreaking, so we’re getting pretty darn close to that number.”

Seifert said the campaign committee will try to conclude major fundraising efforts within city of Marshall in July, then branch out to surrounding communities.

“We want to get the message out to the other communities,” he said. “We thought we would first plow our best ground closer to home, then spend time in the surrounding communities in August. We’re trying to be everywhere we can.”

Seifert said besides cash and pledges area farmers have given commodity donations of corn and grain, which Avera parlays into cash by completing an immediate sale of the commodity. He said 250 bushels of corn was donated a week or two ago.