Beacon House Capital Campaign rolled out

MARQUETTE – NFL Network star and former head coach of the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers Steve Mariucci kicked off the Beacon House U.P. Celebrity Golf Classic Wednesday with the announcement that the organization will begin a capital campaign to build a new Beacon House near the new Duke LifePoint Hospital.

The new hospital being built along West Baraga Avenue is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018.

The “Legacy of Love” Capital Campaign Project is now officially underway, with Mariucci and his wife, Gayle, handing over a check representing their $150,000 pledge to name the new facility’s outdoor courtyard for the Mariucci Family Foundation. Dozens of celebrities and sponsors also pledged their financial support at the golf event for the new hospitality house location, according to the release.

“When a loved one is in critical condition, the only place you want to be is by their side,” Mariucci said. “If Beacon House stays where it is, many people will not consider it as an option, being so far from where they need to be – 15 blocks is like a million miles when you’re at your unconscious child’s bedside.”

Butch and Ellen Frank called the Beacon House rooms their home for more than a month last fall.

“On Oct. 20, 2015, we got a call that our son Peter was hit by a car,” Butch Frank said. “He had a broken back, broken femur, punctured lung, broken ribs, broken scapula, a concussion and a fractured tailbone. He had tire marks where the tires spun over his torso. His liver and spleen were damaged.”

Peter was flown from St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba to Marquette, and Butch and Ellen were told that he might not come out of it.

“There was no way we were leaving his side,” Frank said. “The Beacon House hospitality rooms became home to us for over a month. I don’t know what we would have done if they weren’t there.”

Beacon House is an independent non-profit organization and does not charge guests for their stay, but instead asks guests to consider a donation that is affordable to them.

Since opening the Beacon House doors in 2002, and incorporating the hospitality rooms in the hospital in 2013, the organization has provided more than 175,000 guest nights at both facilities. Beacon House includes 33 guest rooms at the facility on North Third Street, approximately one block from the hospital. There are also 11 hospitality rooms with 22 beds in the hospital itself.

Although the new Duke LifePoint hospital plans do not include the hospitality rooms, UP Health System Regional President Jim Bogan has expressed its intent to support the Beacon House, according to the news release.

“We are currently working with Beacon House to help secure property near the new hospital and ensure this important resource continues to be available to our patients and their families,” Bogan said. “We are committed to this cause, and will make every possible effort to help keep Beacon House operational and viable to the people of the Upper Peninsula for the future.”

The new hospital is 15 blocks away from the existing Beacon House location. Beacon House plans to seek support over the next several months from U.P. communities it serves to determine if the financial support is there to build a new Beacon House closer to the new hospital.

Estimates for a 60-room facility that would include family suites, a children’s playroom, a community family-style kitchen, guest television lounge, a designated lounge for cancer patients with compromised immune systems are nearly $6.4 million.

The capital campaign will provide many naming opportunities and pledges can be spread out over a 5-year period. The capital campaign project will determine how many rooms can be financially supported, and the Beacon House board of directors has committed to proceeding without any long term debt.

The organization is hoping much of the needed building materials can be procured from business donations or at a discounted price, which could help bring down the project cost.

Contributions to the Beacon House “Legacy of Love” capital campaign can be made online at www.upbeaconhouse.org or by calling 225-7100. For more information, contact Mary Tavernini Dowling at mary@upbeaconhouse.org or 360-6000.