Hope Lodge reaches campaign goal, celebrates

Hope Lodge reaches campaign goal, celebrates
Front, seated: Susan Williams, Carol Tucker, Cheryl Bryan; back: Kellie Ann Kelleher, Charlie Tomm, Dick Morales, Tim Torgerson, Mel Toran, Sheila Collier, George Egan, Carter Bryan, Ralph DeVitto, Jennifer Rensch; not present: Gil Pomar III and Syd Gervin

Three years from the launch of a fundraising campaign, The American Cancer Society plans to break ground this fall on The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge in Jacksonville, the third lodge in Florida.

The Mayo Clinic is providing land on its Southside campus, but the 32-room facility will be available for patients seeking cancer treatment at any medical or cancer treatment center in Jacksonville. The other two lodges are the Winn-Dixie Hope Lodge in Gainesville (1986) and the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge in Tampa (2003).

The no-cost “home away from home” for cancer patients and their caregivers will be open to those seeking treatment at Jacksonville’s Mayo Clinic, UF Health, Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center, Ackerman Cancer Center and St. Vincent’s HealthCare. “The demand for no cost lodging is there for cancer patients,” said Kellie Ann Kelleher, the Society’s campaign director.

The fundraising campaign, championed by the volunteer leadership of Charlie Tomm and Carter and Cheryl Bryan, was launched in the fall of 2014 with an initial match challenge grant of $9.6 million from the family foundation of Best Buy founder Richard M. Schulze.

The Jacksonville community very generously responded and the campaign ended with a substantial gift from the C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Foundation.

The Weaver Family Foundation Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida also gave the American Cancer Society a $500,000 challenge grant, which matched community donations of $5,000 or less, up to $500,000. The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation also matched all funds to collectively make a $2 million impact on the $19.2 million needed to build and operate the Jacksonville Hope Lodge. 

“Mrs. Terry has made immeasurable contributions to the medical community in Jacksonville, funding both capital and patient services, as well as research,” said Kelleher. “With this gift to help make no-cost lodging for adult cancer patients and their caregivers a reality in Jacksonville, she feels as though everything has come full circle.” 

Once the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge of Jacksonville opens its doors, the American Cancer Society estimates it will provide nearly 12,000 nights of free lodging to cancer patients and their caregivers each year. While the facility has been fully funded, the American Cancer Society will continue to raise operating funds.

“In all our years volunteering with the American Cancer Society we have seen the impact our dedication to the mission of the Society has had in the lives of cancer patients,” said Carter and Cheryl Bryan in a statement. “The reality of a Hope Lodge being built in Jacksonville is an accomplishment we are proud of, but moreover we are honored to have been a part of helping grow our medical community and break down barriers in accessing treatment for cancer patients.”

If you would like to make a gift, visit cancer.org/hopelodgejacksonville or call the American Cancer Society at (904) 391-3606.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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