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November 9, 2009

The Koene Family from Sheboygan Falls gave a gift of $4,000 to the Friends of St. Nicholas Hospital to provide financial support to women who cannot afford to pay for a mammogram.  (Pictured from left to right:   Michele Oostdyk, Assistant Administrator, Patient Care Services; Tom Zelenak, Director, Diagnostic Imaging; Lou Ann Meyer, Chairperson, Friends of St. Nicholas Hospital; Cynthia Bertsch, Director, Fund Development and Advocacy; Linda Koene, Rob Koene, Becca Koene, Elizabeth Howard, and Sarah Koene)

Local Family Gives Gift to Friends of St. Nicholas Hospital for Free Mammograms

Sheboygan, Wis. —The Koene family of Sheboygan Falls bestowed a gift of $4,000 to the Friends of St. Nicholas Hospital to help provide financial support to women who cannot afford to pay for the cost of mammogram examinations.

A member of the Koene family, Elizabeth Howard, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in March 2007 when she was only 26 years old. Howard finished her cancer treatment in October 2007 after going through chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.

"I've learned that you just take what comes to you and make the best of it," said Howard.

Howard, now in remission, and her family have joined in the fight against cancer to find a cure. The Koene family started an annual fundraiser called Breast Fest in 2008 to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

"A family in Sheboygan Falls had thrown a benefit for Elizabeth when she was diagnosed with breast cancer," said Linda Koene, Howard's mom. "Elizabeth survived stage three breast cancer and we are grateful she is still with us and now we want to pay it forward by helping somebody else."

The Koene family donated a portion of this year's proceeds from Breast Fest to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and National Philanthropic Trust but also wanted to give the rest of the proceeds towards a local cause.

"The money we received during the fundraiser came from local people and businesses," said Koene. "We wanted them to know that the money we raised is going to help somebody locally. What better way to help somebody than to give to our community hospital—St. Nicholas Hospital. We would like the Hospital to use our gift to provide free mammograms for women who are otherwise unable to pay for a mammogram."

According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 7 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

"Early detection is key in treating breast cancer and the gift we received from the Koene family will help provide free mammograms to those in need," said Cynthia Bertsch, Director of Fund Development and Advocacy at St. Nicholas Hospital. "The Friends of St. Nicholas Hospital is very pleased to receive this gift as it furthers the Hospital's vision of providing family centered, compassionate care without regard for race, creed, or ability to pay."

About St. Nicholas Hospital
St. Nicholas Hospital is the recipient of the 2009/2010 HealthGrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award™. St. Nicholas Hospital is rated among the Nation's top 5% of hospitals for patient experience and one of only 211 facilities in the country to achieve this distinction two years in a row.

St. Nicholas Hospital is a non-profit hospital sponsored by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis located at 3100 Superior Avenue, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Their mission and vision is to provide family-centered, compassionate care without regard for race, creed, or ability to pay. This is achieved through the core values of respect, care, competence, and joy.

To learn more, visit .

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St. Nicholas Hospital
3100 Superior Avenue
Sheboygan, WI 53081


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St. Nicholas HospitSt. Nicholas Hospital, 3100 Superior Avenue, Sheboygan, WI Ph:920-459-8300
 100 Superior Avenue
 Sheboygan, WI 53081