Kathy Gensel, Foundation Director
250 Hospital Place, Soldotna, AK 99669
(907) 714-4626 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Giving Begins At Home
After helping to coordinate a number of fund drives to support friends, employees and neighbors struck with unexpected medical emergencies, Ed Krohn came up with a new plan. In 2005, he joined Sky Carver, Dolly Farnsworth, Marge Mullen, and Chuck Obendorf in creating the Central Peninsula Health Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide new resources to our local medical community and those who will turn to it for hope and healing.
"Things happened in my life that made me realize that I wanted to be doing more than just helping people with bills when they got sick. I wanted to be part of something that was going to keep people from getting sick, and that would make more available here on the peninsula so we don't have to leave our homes and families when we do get sick," he said.
One of those things happened in January of 2001, when Ed's 26-year-old employee Ryan was diagnosed with cancer. He was going to need treatment immediately, and he had to go to Anchorage to get it. With a wife and two young children at home, Ryan already had his hands full; the news was devastating both emotionally and financially.
To Ed, his wife Lila Ann, and son Michael, Ryan was already considered family. They put a call out to friends to help him with the financial burden that his cancer would bring. "I had people I didn't even know pulling up to my shop and dropping off checks and cash. It was incredible and I'll never forget it," Ed recalled.
Because of those donations, Ryan was able to pay his bills and pick up where he'd left off before undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. Follow up tests showed no sign of the cancer, and his life slowly returned to normal. But Ed wasn't ready to stop what he had started. He knew there would be others in similar situations in the future, and he didn't want to wait for that to happen.
"Since I moved to the peninsula more than 30 years ago, I've seen this community pull together to help so many people through tough times. I knew that if we could get this Foundation off the ground, we would get the support to do great things here. It's only been a short time since we got started, and we are already seeing it happen," he said.
Since fundraising efforts by the Foundation began in fall of 2006, contributions have helped provide comforts to family members experiencing the loss of a loved one and added cable television in the rooms of residents of Heritage Place. Donations are also providing direct financial support to oncology patients and purchasing medications for those who can't afford them. And, through a very successful employee giving program at the hospital, the people who see the needs first hand are giving generously to provide help to meet them.
Without a doubt, giving starts at home and the early support of the Foundation is a great example of that. Many feel strongly that what is given in this community should stay in this community and Central Peninsula Health Foundation supporters can rest assured that their contributions will have a lasting effect on the lives of peninsula residents for many years to come.