New Beacon House to be named after Steve Mariucci

Pictured is the RG Designs rendering of the future Steve Mariucci Family Beacon House guest entrance and building sign. (Courtesy photo of the Beacon House)

MARQUETTE — The Beacon House Board of Directors recently voted to name its new building the Steve Mariucci Family Beacon House when it’s built in honor of Mariucci and his contributions in keeping the Beacon House available to everyone who benefits from its services.

Since the nonprofit organization opened its doors in 2002, nearly 200,000 patients, families and caretakers have stayed at the Beacon House during times of medical crisis and situations.

When Duke LifePoint, the owners of UP Health System-Marquette, announced its plans to build a new hospital on the other side of town, the board of directors began researching the opportunity to build a new Beacon House next to the new hospital, according to the Beacon House website.

The existing building and property located at 1301 N. Third St. was put on the market in August after UPHS allotted the nonprofit a 2-acre plot of land by the intersection of Seventh and Spring streets, near the new hospital.

The donation-based organization is asking for $1.5 million, the same amount borrowed to create the Beacon House from the Village Inn nearly 16 years ago.

Mariucci, former Detroit Lions head coach and Upper Peninsula native, and his family have been involved with the Beacon House close to the beginning of its operations.

After the Legacy of Love Capital Campaign was reinstated to raise funds for the new project, the Mariuccis made the very first pledge of $150,000 toward the cause. Recently, they doubled their pledge to $300,000.

“My family and I are very honored to be involved in such a great humanitarian project as Beacon House,” Mariucci said in a release. “We are thrilled that Beacon House has brought such comfort to thousands of U.P. families in their time of need. With 250,000 guest nights already provided over these past 16 years, we have all the evidence we need that moving forward with this new location is one of the most important and critical decisions we could make. I’m not just along for the ride; I’m in it to win it for all the people of the U.P. who are going to need it someday.”

The organization ultimately hopes to raise around $7 million to build the new facility but needs $3 million to get the ball rolling, said Beacon House CEO Mary Tavernini Dowling.

“We’re going to do this in three phases,” Tavernini Dowling said. “The most important one to me is getting started. So in order for us to break ground next spring we need raise $3 million by Dec. 31. We have close to a million of that raised right now. The idea is to have a 60-room Beacon House by the time that we’re done. So the first phase would be to build the Beacon House’s general offices — so, the registration desk, the lobby, the kitchen, TV lounge, the playroom, the things necessary to a Beacon House. We will have a beautiful chapel, as well. It’ll be small, but it’ll be lovely and that is thanks to one of our donors.”

In addition to 33 rooms at the existing Beacon House, the Beacon House team also operates the Hospitality Rooms at UPHS-Marquette, a 21-bed floor for families of patients receiving critical care in the hospital. However, the new hospital will not include the Hospitality Rooms, which is why the Beacon House aspires to add a total of 60 rooms to the new building.

“We think there’s going to be so much more activity at that hospital because it’s brand new and will have state-of-the-art everything, and of course, the best medical care you could possibly receive in the Upper Peninsula will be there and we feel that people will be very comfortable and confident coming from around the U.P. to the hospital and we want to make sure that we have enough room for, again, those in critical and emergency type situations,” Tavernini Dowling said, adding that the new property will provide “outdoor space” for guests to enjoy.

Rooms will also be decorated to honor some of its donors so they can truly be a part of the new building’s story.

On May 18 from 7-9 p.m., there will be a Reverse Draw Raffle and Dinner event held at the Marquette History Museum to raise funds for the Beacon House.

Tickets are $100 each. Only 250 tickets will be sold in order to keep the odds of winning high but guests may attend for an additional $35. One grand prize Reverse Draw Raffle winner will walk away with $5,000 in cash. Ticket holders do not need to be present to win.

Tickets will soon be available through the Beacon House, Hospitality Gifts or by visiting the Beacon House’s website. For more information about Beacon House or the Legacy of Love Capital Campaign, visit www.upbeaconhouse.org.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.