[Photo: Beacon House CEO, Mary Dowling & LeeAnn Mantta]
High school junior raises thousands for Beacon House
MARQUETTE, Mich. – LeeAnn Mantta is a high school junior at Jeffers Highschool in Painsedale, MI, and understands the importance of helping others. She has also found a very creative way to bring a community together and help a cause near to her heart. As part of her National Honor Society (NHS) service project, Mantta recently delivered her second donation to Beacon House of nearly $400 of toiletries, office supplies, and other items on Beacon House’s Wishlist, and is close to raising $4,000 in monetary donations.
“At my school we have the National Honors Society,” says Mantta. “We get to do a service project each year, so I chose the Beacon House because I thought it would be a perfect candidate for that.”
The NHS is an organization dedicated to recognizing excellence in middle and high school students. NHS honors students who have excelled in scholarship, leadership, service and character. Participating students are recognized for their work and challenged to develop their character through civil service.
Mantta says she chose Beacon House because her parents were guests during her father’s stay at UPHS-Marquette for radiation and chemotherapy. LeeAnn’s father, Robert was diagnosed with cancer and traveled to Marquette for frequent oncology appointments, using Beacon House as a home away from home. The Manttas say he’s doing well considering the circumstances and notes the Beacon House has been very helpful to the family.
“After 10 radiation treatments and seven chemotherapies, they have reduced the cancer by twenty five percent,” says Robert Mantta. “A big thank you to the Beacon House for making my treatment more bearable, with a nice place to stay.”
“I chose the Beacon House because my dad was in the hospital and they let my parents stay there, which was pretty nice, so I wanted to give back…,” adds LeeAnn. “I collected things mainly through Holy Family Church Catholic Church in South Range and St. Ignatius in Houghton and did monetary collections as well.”
On behalf of NHS, LeeAnn Mantta collected toilet paper, bar soap, kitchen items, copy paper, and cleaning supplies for Beacon House amounting to around $400 in value. Mantta also went to Copper Country businesses and raised $1,900 for the non-profit organization. She then did a collection at church and raised another over $1,400 from parishioners, and she says she’s not done yet.
“It’s great to see young people like LeAnn show such compassion for our guests,” says Beacon House Public Relations Manager Andrew Lorinser. “We are blessed this next generation of philanthropists knows the value of contributing to causes like ours. LeAnn’s donation is huge. We are very impressed with the time and efforts she’s expended to make such an impact.”
Beacon House says no donated item goes to waste. “We have specific things on our Wishlist. Donations don’t always have to be monetary,” says Lorinser. “LeAnn stepped up huge financially for Beacon House, but she also provided much-needed supplies for our guests. Her generosity will go a long way. ”
Mantta says while she collected donations, she often got positive feedback from people in the Copper Country who either once stayed at Beacon House or knew of someone who stayed at Beacon House. She says everyone was excited to donate to her NHS project. Beacon House is the Upper Peninsula’s only hospitality house, serving patients of UPHS – Marquette and the Upper Peninsula Medical Center from every county in the U.P., and a large portion of their donors reside in the Copper Country.
“It’s nice to pay it forward, because not everyone has everything you have,” says Mantta. “I encourage people to definitely donate, because Beacon House is pretty snazzy.”
For more information about contributing to Beacon House’s Wishlist visit upbh.org/wish-list.
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Beacon House becomes a “home away from home” for patients and families that travel across the U.P. to receive specialty medical care at U.P. Health System – Marquette and the Upper Peninsula Medical Center. The private, nonprofit, donation-based organization ensures that families never have to ask, “Where am I going to stay and how am I ever going to be able to afford it?” during a medical crisis.