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Cancer center funding effort nears 80 percent

Mabee Foundation provides $500,000 challenge grant.

A $500,000 challenge grant from The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., has brought Uvalde Memorial Hospital’s Saving Lives Close to Home fundraising campaign into the final stages.

“The campaign now stands at 79 percent of its $5-million goal and has until Dec. 31, 2009, to raise the remaining $1,023,244 to match the Mabee challenge,” said campaign co-chair, Roger Berry. “We are honored and grateful for the generous support of The Mabee Foundation; they only support projects that are of the highest merit and benefit for a community.”

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported this project and ask those who have yet to make a gift, to please consider doing so now so we can raise the additional funds to get the doors opened,” continued Berry.

The campaign is aptly named Saving Lives Close to Home because it will build a 20,000 square-foot Regional Cancer Care Medical Center to provide radiation therapy for cancer patients and offer specialized services not currently offered west of San Antonio.

The centerpiece of the fundraising campaign is an 8,000-squarefoot center for radiation therapy cancer treatment, with state-of-theart treatment capabilities offered by established and experienced physicians. The additional 12,000-square-foot medical office building will establish a regional center for comprehensive care. The new center will serve patients from Uvalde, Real, Zavala, Edwards, Medina, Maverick, Val Verde, Dimmit and Kinney counties who, in the absence of available radiation therapy, often choose radical surgery or forgo treatment entirely.

A lead campaign gift from Gov. Dolph Briscoe and his daughter, Janey Briscoe Marmion, combined with a gift from the hospital from the Archie Jones Estate and a $100,000 Bank Challenge from First State Bank took the campaign over the halfway mark this summer and inspired hundreds of other donors to get involved. The Center will be named in memory of the late Kate Marmion, the governor’s granddaughter and the daughter of Mrs. Marmion and her husband, Jim.

The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation Inc., a Delaware non-profit corporation, was formed in 1948 by John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee, with its office in Tulsa, Okla. The foundation aids institutions of higher learning, hospitals, Christian religious organizations and other charitable organizations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

 “In order to secure the Mabee challenge funds and begin the project as soon as possible, the campaign must secure the final $1 million in donations toward the $5 million project by the end of this year,” said Dr. John Shudde, cochair of the campaign. “Satisfying the Mabee challenge will allow us to treat patients where they need and deserve to be treated – right here at home.”

“We are blessed to be moving toward the completion of our fundraising for this critical project,” Shudde said. “Our donors have demonstrated a deep commitment to providing for the future of healthcare in our region for generations to come. We are grateful to them and for their generosity, they have brought us to this point and it caught the attention of the Mabee Foundation. We are most appreciative for the tremendous opportunity the Mabee trustees have provided us by bringing us to this final phase of fundraising.”

“Architectural plans are well underway, and preparation is beginning for an aggressive construction schedule after all funds are raised or pledged,” added UMH Administrator Jim Buckner. “We anticipate breaking ground in early 2010 followed by nine months of construction. Soon we can begin offering radiation therapy to the citizens of our region, who today have no local treatment option, and we can provide a home to many needed medical specialties.”

The volunteer capital campaign steering committee includes Berry, Shudde, Lewis Bracy Jr., Janet White, Bill Kessler, Carol Kothmann, Joe Parker, Alexis Petty, Rene Nolasco and Vicente Gonzales. These members continue to personally share the need for a Regional Cancer Care Medical Center with prospective donors and ask them to consider making a gift.

There are opportunities to make gifts in honor or memory of individuals. If you are interested in learning how you or your organization may support the Saving Lives Close to Home campaign, contact Development Coordinator Sheri Rutledge at 830-278-6251 ext. 1616. Donations may be mailed to 1025 Garner Field Road, Uvalde, TX 78801.

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Project team

Honorary Chairs

The Honorable Dolph Briscoe, Jr.


Janey Briscoe Marmion


Roger Berry
John L. Shudde, MD

Committee Members

Lewis E. Bracy, Jr.


Vicente Gonzales, III

Bill Kessler

Carol Kothmann

Rene Nolasco

Joe Parker

Alexis L. Petty

Janet White

UMH Advisors

Jim Buckner,Administrator
Sheri Rutledge, Development Coordinator
Rose Puente, Cost Accountant