The American Cancer Society’s compassionate goal to erect 32 Hope Lodges throughout the United States and Puerto Rice has an endgame and many champions in Jacksonville.
One of seven cities currently campaigning to build Hope Lodges, Jacksonville has raised over 85 percent of its $19.2 million goal to construct and operate the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge, a residence on the Mayo Clinic campus that will provide lodging at no cost to cancer patients and their families seeking treatment in the Greater Jacksonville area.
Since the campaign began a year ago, $15.2 million in gifts, pledges and verbal commitments have been received, according to Kellie Ann Kelleher, director of the American Cancer Society’s Major Gifts Campaign.
Several community partners have already shown their support of this exciting and life-changing service to cancer patients in the Jacksonville area. Best Buy Founder and Past Chairman Dick Schulze, a major champion of the Lodge, pledged 50 percent of the goal if Jacksonville can raise an equal amount.
“With his pledge we are able to offer donors the ability to make gifts and pledges to capital or operating expenses for the lodge,” said Kelleher.
In addition to Schulze’s pledge, Wayne and Delores Weaver vow to match all individual gifts of $5,000 or less up to $500,000. Other gifts of note include a $500,000 pledge from the Bryan Family through The Henry and Lucy Gooding Endowment of The Community Foundation and an anonymous pledge of $500,000.
Plans have groundbreaking and construction starting in first quarter 2017, but the community must first meet the Schulze Family match. When the match goal is met by the end of 2016, a ribbon-cutting will open the Hope Lodge in late 2017.
Jacksonville’s Hope Lodge will have 32 patient suites and provide round-the-clock transportation to treatment centers and hospitals in the area along with a variety of resources and information to help fight a patient’s particular cancer.
You can make a financial contribution to support the building of the Hope Lodge through the local campaign office or go to mstage.qa.cancer.org/treatment/supportprogramsservices/hopelodge/jacksonville/index