North central Iowa is proud of the successes of area farmers and related agricultural industries. People in our communities and farmers themselves recognize the sacrifices and unending hard work that goes into building a successful farming operation.
Long hours, shifting technology, aging work force, fluctuating markets and results often predicated upon weather and government programs are but a few of the many hurdles overcome by our farming neighbors. The recent positive financial results have not arrived overnight. Rather, the results arrived after years of planning and foresight.
The reality is agriculture dominates the local economy. The future continues to look bright for local agriculture as Cargill and CJ America come on line to join Valero in the North Central Ag Industrial Park. The potential for more companies to join these grain purchasing companies looks promising. It is estimated 50 square miles of farmed land in north central Iowa in 2011 generated in excess of $1.3 billion of gross receipts. This amount dwarfs the entire economic output of all industries combined in Fort Dodge and surrounding communities. Fifty square miles approximates a 25-mile radius from the center of our local health care, Trinity Regional Medical Center. In reality, the market served by Trinity well exceeds a 25-mile radius.
As farmers prepare for future years with expansion in machinery and equipment, upgrading technology and improving marketing methods, now is the ideal time to invest in the future of local health care. "Every Option, Every Hope" is much more than a slogan at Trinity Regional Medical Center. It is about providing every cancer treatment option needed in one location at the new Trinity Cancer Center. Many, if not most, of Fort Dodge businesses have committed to a five-year financial pledge to build the new Cancer Center at Trinity. In addition, dozens upon dozens of individuals and local organizations have recognized the value, and committed their financial resources to make the Cancer Center a reality. As many of you know, a linear accelerator, which provides radiation therapy, is being moved to Fort Dodge in the near future. Coupled with an enhanced oncology program, the new Cancer Center will provide radiation and chemotherapy together in one location. Cancer is an insidious disease that often strikes without warning. When many of us are initially diagnosed, we tend to go to Iowa City, Rochester, Des Moines or other larger communities for confirmation and treatment plans. For the majority of cancers, the treatment protocol of radiation and chemotherapy can be provided locally in the new Trinity Cancer Center. The stress of travel and the expense and logistics that accompany the travel aspect can now be eliminated.
The Cancer Center Capital Campaign Steering Committee has had limited success in reaching area farmers. With near record grain prices, good yields in 2011, and net worth increases exceeding 30 percent, the Steering Committee asks for an opportunity to make an informative, nonjudgmental presentation to you regarding the new Cancer Center. The presentation will take approximately 30 minutes and allows everyone an opportunity to make an informed decision to support a project that enhances the quality of life for our family, friends and neighbors. Perhaps, even ourselves.
Who is a better neighbor than a farmer? Our local farmers are best known for their deep and abiding generosity. They are the first to arrive when a neighbor is in need - the depth of their assistance is unparalleled. Today, the Trinity Cancer Center is a neighbor in need.
Cancer at a glance
One of every three women living in the U.S. today will develop an invasive cancer during her lifetime. For men, the risk of invasive cancer increases to one in two.
- American Cancer Society
Trinity's eight-county service area experienced a rate 3.9 percent higher than the Iowa norm for colorectal cancer during the years 2003-2007.
- Iowa State Health Registry
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Iowa.
- Iowa State Health Registry
There are many ways that you can help us reach our goal and at the same time achieve significant tax savings. One way might be to donate grain directly to Trinity Health Foundation. However, we do encourage you to talk to your professional tax or legal advisers to determine tax implications prior to making gifts.
We need your assistance to reach our goal of $5 million. The campaign is privileged to be the beneficiary of a challenge match of up to $1.5 million. We have used about $1.2 million of our anonymous match. We need to raise $300,000 and our anonymous donor will match that amount, and we will reach our goal. You have an opportunity to not only help us wrap up this campaign but also double your gift - a gift of $1,000 becomes $2,000; a gift of $50,000 becomes $100,000. Not often in life do we have the opportunity to instantly double our investment.
All gifts of $5,000 or greater will be recognized on the Trinity Health Foundation Donor Wall as well as on the donor wall which will be located just inside the new cancer center. There are also naming opportunities available within the cancer center starting with gifts of $15,000 or greater. Naming opportunities are available on a first come, first served basis so we encourage anyone interested in a naming opportunity to contact Trinity Health Foundation sooner rather than later.
This has been a shared dream of our community for a very long time. The pieces have finally come together. The time is right, the opportunity is here - please help us make the new Trinity Cancer Center a reality. Please support the campaign to build a comprehensive Cancer Center at Trinity Regional Medical Center.
For more information about this important project, please contact Trinity Health Foundation at 574-6509. Thank you for your consideration.
Jim Rodenborn is a member of the Every Option, Every Hope Capital Campaign Steering Committee to Build a Comprehensive Cancer Center at Trinity Regional Medical Center.