A creative fundraiser resulted in an auction for a pink boom truck and crane, and a $205,000 donation to Marshfield Clinic for breast cancer research.
Marshfield-based V&H Trucks, Inc., has supported the Clinic's cancer research for more than 35 years. Tim Wolf, general sales manager at V&H, said the company used its expertise in fabricating construction vehicles to support the Marshfield Clinic Research Fund and the important work of diagnosing and treating cancer.
"Designing, building and selling this truck will raise a lot of awareness about the importance of cancer research in a very different marketplace," Wolf said May 18 when the donation was announced during a presentation at the Clinic's Marshfield campus.
Donations for cancer research such as this are critically important. Cancer survival and cure rates have soared since Dr. William Hocking, an oncologist, began his cancer research at the Clinic more than 30 years ago.
"In the 1970s we only had surgery and radiation for treatment options," said Hocking, who also serves on the Clinic's Development committee. "Today we have many different drug therapies as options. Every bit of funding for breast cancer aids our ability to fight this disease and improve the quality of our patients' lives."
The boom truck was exclusively designed by V&H Trucks and has an estimated value of more than $312,000. V&H and Baltimore-based Fascan International, the U.S. distributor of Fassi articulating cranes, auctioned the one-of-a-kind "Reaching for a Cure" pink boom truck April 29 during the 2015 Intex Expo in Long Beach, California.
Gypsum Management and Supply (GMS), based in Tucker, Georgia, offered the more than $500,000 winning bid. GMS is the leading independent building products distributor in the U.S., supporting a nationwide network of locally managed companies in the service of contractors, builders and do-it-yourself builders.
Dr. Susan Turney, Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO, attended the bid opening. She said anticipation grew as the bid amounts increased.
"Everyone was excited when GMS had the winning bid," Turney said. "Their generous bid and subsequent donation will allow the Clinic to continue its mission of patient care, research and education."
Steve McCune, GMS corporate fleet manager, said the boom truck, which has the phrase "The driving force in breast cancer awareness" and pink ribbons printed on its sides, will travel the U.S. and be displayed at trade shows to promote breast cancer awareness.
"We make a concerted effort to get involved in local community events and causes," McCune said. "In a meeting with company leaders discussing our potential bid, we realized all of our lives had been touched by cancer and for many people, breast cancer."
The $205,000 donation will be put in the Clinic's Breast Cancer Research Fund until Clinic leaders designate it for specific research projects.
"This was most definitely a unique fundraiser and showed V&H's ongoing commitment and dedication to cancer research at Marshfield Clinic," said Brooke Wolff, donor relations coordinator in the Clinic's Development Department.
Photo: A pink boom truck designed by V&H Trucking in Marshfield was sold at auction for more than $500,000, which included a $205,000 donation to Marshfield Clinic for breast cancer research. Pictured are (from left) Chris Lowery, wallboard specialist, Fascan International, Inc.; Tim Wolf, V&H general sales manager; Dr. Susan Turney, Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO; Dr. Narayana Murali, Marshfield Clinic executive director.
Marshfield Clinic provides patient care, research and education with more than 50 locations in northern, central and western Wisconsin, making it one of the largest comprehensive medical systems in the United States.