Mother’s mind at ease after being terrified of daughter leaving hospital

December 7th, 2016

When I met Denise, we were standing in the middle of the hospital gift shop. TV 6 had just wrapped up a segment on the shop and how the proceeds from all the sales supported Beacon House. Denise was eager to tell me how much she appreciated the work we do at Beacon House and how it made all the difference in the world to her and her mother.

When Denise got the call downstate that her mom had a stroke, she threw her clothes into a suitcase, jumped in the car and drove through the night to be with her in the hospital. Holding her hand and stroking her hair, she promised her sweet mother that she’d be nearby and that she would never be alone. When her mother pleaded with her not to go over to Beacon House that night because it seemed so far away, Denise made the decision to just sleep in the chair in her mom’s hospital room.

A nurse who was tending to her mom overheard the distressing conversation and called our Hospitality Rooms to see if there was a bed for Denise. She told me, “I knew my mom was uneasy and my being there brought her great comfort. The stroke certainly affected her reasoning, but she seemed terrified of me leaving the hospital. Being able to stay just a few floors away was such a relief. I was able to get some sleep and something to eat, and be right back with her.”

There is no one else in the world like a mother. They’ve spent their entire lives taking care of us, and when they need us in return, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do for them. Knowing that we helped this small family be together means everything to me. I’m so grateful that Beacon House Rooms in the hospital kept one mother resting peacefully knowing her daughter was nearby.

Steve Mariucci

Steve Mariucci has been a great friend of Beacon House from the very beginning. When his mother was terminally ill, he and his family could’ve stayed anywhere. They chose to stay at Beacon House, so they could be close by. Steve is the campaign chair of Beacon House’s capital campaign ‘Legacy of Love’, the effort to raise funds for a new Beacon House near the relocated hospital.

Steve is an Upper Peninsula native born and raised in Iron Mountain, MI. While attending Northern Michigan University, he quarterbacked the team to the NCAA Division II National Football Championship in 1975. He began his coaching career at NMU before moving to Cal State Fullerton in 1980.

Steve held multiple positions working with the Los Angeles Rams as a quality control coach, and then went on to coach at the University of California, Berkeley as the offensive coordinator of the Golden Bears before being appointed as the quarterback coach for the Green Bay Packers. Considered a leading candidate for the several NFL coaching positions, Steve was hired as the head coach for the San Fransisco 49ers.While with the 49ers, the team made the playoffs both seasons with the second biggest comeback playoff victory in NFL history in his second season.

In 2003, Steve was named Lions’ 22nd head coach, earning him the NFL’s highest coaching contract at the time. Mariucci is one of 13 head coaches since the AFL NFL merger in 1970 to lead his team to a division title in his first season. He also established an NFL mark for consecutive wins by a rookie head coach with an 11 game winning streak.

After Detroit, Steve was hired by the NFL Network as an analyst on the Emmy nominated show, NFL GameDay Morning, as well as NFL GameDay Highlights, and NFL GameDay Final. Mariucci is also part of the NFL Network;s Thursday Night Football pregame, halftime, and postgame shows.

In 2009, Mariucci was recognized for this work with his first Sports Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Analyst category. Steve launched his own show in 2011 on the NFL Network, ‘Game Changers’, offering an inside look at the lives of the current season’s top draft prospects.

Steve and his family formed the Mariucci Family Foundation to promote and advance his philanthropic works, and to involve his family in those endeavors. Beacon House has been the recipient of the Marriucci Family’s generosity, with Steve serving as an honorary board member and financial donor. The foundation has donated over $75,000 since 2011 before Steve made the first $150,000 pledge to the new capital campaign ‘Legacy of Love’.

Guest of five weeks donates TV to watch Packers at Beacon House

December 4, 2016wlater

The Christmas tree in the lobby is so warm and inviting. The fireplace is lit and there are two guests reading books; near enough to be companionable, but respecting each other’s space.  The registration desk is close by, so they see new guests come in as they arrive, and offer their greetings. “You’re going to love the kitchen,” says one of the guests to a new arrival. “There’s always a pot of coffee on!” I smiled as I heard the second guest, putting down his book and saying, “And if there isn’t, let me know and I’ll make a fresh one!”

Walter, who looks just like he arrived from Finland, is a serious football fan. Shortly after he came to spend five weeks with us while receiving cancer treatment, he determined that our old television in the guest lounge downstairs was in need of an upgrade, and went to Walmart. An hour later, the Packer’s were playing on the 55” set, and Walter and two other cancer patients were cheering them on.

For Walter, it’s as much about feeling at home as it is about getting the cancer care he needs. When your body is fighting, your soul needs comforting. He loved that he could give something back to the people who were helping him get through this tough time in his life. It gave him a sense of connection and ownership here.

And the Packers won.

Walter was also featured in our latest promo video, for his great beard…

Staying at Beacon House
Our comfortable, convenient, and homelike atmosphere inspires hope, emotional support and shared strength among families dealing with serious illness. Accommodations include:
  • Close proximity to UP Health System and Peninsula Medical Center
  • 33 clean, comfortable private rooms with baths (Each room sleeps 2-4)
  • Four handicapped friendly accessible rooms
  • Cribs and wheelchairs available
  • Family-friendly dining area with 3 complete kitchen work stations (complimentary coffee and bagels)
  • Warm and welcoming lounge areas for guests to relax, watch TV or chat with others
  • Private lounge for our radiation and chemotherapy patients
  • Fun-filled playroom on-site for children
  • Computer room and wireless internet
  • Coin-operated laundry facilities
  • Ample parking next to building
  • Caring, helpful staff
Lobby & Guest Rooms

Guest Room Lobby Front Desk
During check in hours, you’ll be greeted by one of hospitality hosts who will show you all around Beacon House and explain how our donation based program works. Our guest rooms are clean and accommodating, with one or two beds.

100 Wonderful Women & 100 Magnificent Men

Please join these Wonderful Women & Magnificent Men …

What is the most incredible thing about living in this beautiful area? The wonderful women and the magnificent men who live here. The ones who make a difference in the lives of strangers when they see a need.

Over coffee one recent Sunday morning, I told my sister, Allyssa, about the amazing group of people I’d recently met who had been touched by cancer in some way. There were cancer survivors, cancer patients and families of people who had lost someone special to the deadly disease. But they all were at our event, The Walt Kyle Mile and “The Dash” 5k run to support each other and people they’d never meet staying here at Beacon House. One woman with an amputated leg was so excited to have “walked” with Walt Kyle. Another had lost her daughter to cancer but was inspired to celebrate her life by helping others. Having lost our father to cancer, my sister and I were very aware of how the smallest of things could make a big difference to a family or a patient fighting for life. I told Allyssa how much they touched my heart with their stories of what helped them through, and that I was thinking of seeking out 100 women to donate $100 each for Beacon House so that when we saw need for something special for our cancer guests, we could comfortably just do it, and not worry about being able to afford it. Before I was finished with my thought, she’d pulled out her checkbook and handed me a check. “Let me start it for you,” she said. “Let’s just do it.”

I am so proud to say that Allyssa Anderson launched this program, along with our mother, Marjory Tavernini. I was thrilled to be the third one! Right behind us were Sue LeGalley and Renee Prince, along with Jenny Webb and husband, Dr. Jon Webb as our first Magnificent Man!

By joining “The Beacon House Society of 100 Wonderful Women & 100 Magnificent Men” you’ll be helping to support Beacon House, provide a bit of comfort … and show them that they’re not alone in their struggle.

Thank you for being the WW’s and MM’s in their lives.


The first of 100 Wonderful Women:

1. Allyssa Anderson
2. Marjory Tavernini
3. Mary Tavernini Dowling
4. Sue LeGalley
5. Renée Prince
6. Jenny Webb
7. Judy Haltunen
8. Sandra Zurcher
9. Diane Zurcher
10. Terri Brittain
11. Michele Butler
12. Joan Dowling Schetter
13. Lynn Moon
14. Marion Sonderegger
15. Barbara Dowling
16. India Benton Lesser
17. Amy Hubinger
18. Margaret Kekko
19. Lynne Hammerstrom
20. Kay LeDuc
21. Shirley Hivala
22. Sharon Scholke
23. Katie Reynolds
24. Dr. Melanie Purres
25. Judy Bartol
26. Kathryn Maynard
27. Mary Klahn
28. Donna Schneider
29. Nicole Alexander
30. Mary Sischo
31. Jennifer Baldwin, MD
32. Lenore Usher
33. John Pastore’s Mom
34. Caroline Gutzman
35. Julie Elder
36. Patricia Foldenauer
37. Marianne White
38. Judy Farrell
39. Sharon Arntsen
40. Deb Rolig
41. Judy Phillips
42. Patricia Rasmussen
43. Anne Weaver
44. Christine Kilpela
45. Frances Derleth
46. Nancy Beyers Wakeman
47. Karen Kimar Johnson
48. Maggie Mahoney
49. Catherine Johnson
50. Louise Griffith
51. Monajean Rose
52. Gina Feltner Bouws
53. Dr. Louise Archibald
54. Carolyn Severson
55. Char Ahola
56. Marie Dobbs
57. Barbara Dowling
58. Florence Dowling
59. Carol Hill
60. Mary Anne Kublin
61. Ruth Nara
62. Pat Pellett
63. Judy Phillips
64. Mary Jane Robertson
65. Gladys Wiianen
66. Louise Archibald
67. Linda Million

The first of 100 Magnificent Men:

1. Dr. Jon Webb
2. John Prince
3. Kevin Dowling
4. Jeff Brittain
5. Paul Wolfson
6. Gordon LeDuc
7. Timothy Snow
8. Fred Maynard, MD
9. Jay Rowe
10. Dr. Kenneth Chu
11. Douglas Baldwin, MD
12. James Elder
13. Gene Arntsen
14. Dan Phillips
15. Les Rolig
16. Steve Severson
17. Bill Weaver
18. James Derleth
19. Calvin Klusmeyer
20. Frank Bartol
21. Anthony Bertucci
22. Robert Johnson
23. Vincent Rose
24. Randall L. Hubinger
25. Guillermo Herrera
26. Robert Derleth
27. Richard Dowling
28. Calvin Klusmeyer
29. Don Grisham
30. David Johnson
31. Tom LeGalley, MD
32. Robert O’Nara
33. Burns Severson
34. John Tavernini
31. David Wiitanen
31. George Million

Please join us with a $100 donation (click the Donate button) and make a difference in the life of a guest at Beacon House today!



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Beacon House operates on a donation basis and guests are expected to contribute at a level that is affordable for them.