To the Journal editor:
I just finished reading Dr. Jim Surrell's article regarding the Marquette General Hospital Level II Trauma Center here in Marquette. How fortunate we are to live in an area where dedicated and talented medical professionals work to save the lives of the ones we love, and have the facilities and support to do so.
In my job, I work to support the families of those emergency-room patients by raising funds for Beacon House. My co-worker, Kellie Barry-Angeli, and the president of our board of directors, Renee Prince, and a small but dedicated staff work the desk to check guests in, and provide a clean, safe and affordable place to stay for those who follow the ambulance to Marquette from the outlying community hospitals.
As important as the pillows that rest their heads, are the listening ears and the compassionate hearts of Kellie, Renee, the staff and volunteers. More than a place to sleep, Beacon House is a place to heal and to gather strength to face what lies ahead.
Beacon House has recently been a home-away-from-home to the father of a gun-shot wound victim, the wife of man who suffered a heart attack at work, the mother of a young man with a trauma to the head, and the family of a young child who was hit by a car on her bike. Without Beacon House, some of these families would not have been able to stay near their loved ones, or would have slept in their cars to do so.
Over the past 3 months, we have raised over $115,000 toward our annual goal of $350,000 to operate Beacon House. The generosity of our local businesses and residents is overwhelming, and we cannot thank you enough for supporting us through our fundraising efforts such as the UP Celebrity Golf Classic and the Roar the Shore motorcycle ride.
In the next few months you may see ads for the "Walt Kyle Mile" walk for cancer patients, the "Spokes of Hope" bicycle ride and the "Packer/Lions Game" raffle ticket sales. We host as many events as we need to in order to raise the funds we need to be here and support these folks when they find themselves in medical crisis. Thank you for your support in all these efforts, and for the donations through our website, upbeaconhouse.org, that get us closer to our goal.
Mary Tavernini Dowling