Beacon House most worthy of community support

For years, Beacon House has been the community’s “home away from home” when loved ones of hospital patients need a nearby place to stay.

That need still exists.

However, with the building of the new UP Health System-Marquette hospital along Baraga Avenue comes the necessity to change.

Fundraising continues for the new Beacon House, with $3 million needed to obtain a construction loan and build the first 20 rooms, general offices, lobby, kitchen and other areas.

The facility would be located next to the new UP Health System-Marquette hospital on a 2-acre plot of land near the intersection of Seventh and Spring streets.

Proximity is important.

The former Beacon House building along Third Street was closed in August in a downsizing move. That building was located near the current UPHS hospital along College Avenue. Although hospitality rooms encompassing 21 beds at the current UPHS building have been occupied since August, the new hospital will not provide those types of rooms once it moves to the new site in April.

In the meantime, more money is needed for the new Beacon House facility since “only” $2.1 million of the $3 million goal has been raised. It’s a testament to people’s generosity that much already has been raised.

The goal is a worthwhile one. A total of 37 percent of families couldn’t afford to donate more than $10 per night to stay in Beacon House in 2017, according to its 2018 annual report.

To raise money for the new Beacon House, a 906 Pledge plan has been implemented. Through this plan, anyone in the 906 area code may pledge $9.06 per month for 12 months. To donate, supporters can go to upbeaconhouse.org, click on 906 Pledge and enter a credit card one time. The designated amount will be deducted automatically monthly for as many months as the donor indicates.

One of the biggest Beacon House heroes so far as been Steve Mariucci, former head coach of the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers as well as a Most Valuable Player at Northern Michigan University from 1975-77, who has donated his own time and money to help the cause.

In fact, the new building will be named the Steve Mariucci Family Beacon House since his family stayed at the facility several years ago when his mother was hospitalized.

Mariucci and his family formed the Mariucci Family Foundation to advance his philanthropic work.

Beacon House has been the recipient of the Mariucci family’s generosity, with Mariucci serving as an honorary board member and financial donor who made the first $150,000 pledge to the new Beacon House capital campaign, “Legacy of Love.”

To donate to the new facility would be a fitting legacy to anyone who has stayed at Beacon House, that legacy being to ensure others can do the same.

We encourage the community to help this cause.