“You never realize what you take for granted until you lose it.”
That’s Fall, 2019, 4PeteSake recipient Charles Stokes speaking for all of us.
As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, there are families in the River Valley community that continue to take on smaller, but no less challenging medical issues. And since 2005, Spring Green’s 4PeteSake charity has been there to offer a helping hand.
When an individual or family experiences illness, injury, chronic pain or prolonged hospitalization, financial stress can make recovery an even bigger challenge. Since 2005, generous contributions from area residents and businesses have allowed 4PeteSake to provide assistance to more than 90 River Valley residents facing economic hardship in the wake of a medical crisis.
The Fall 2019/Spring 2020 4PeteSake recipients are: Martin Weston from Arena; Charles Stokes, Diann Pulvermacher, Renee Tertin and Richard McGee from Lone Rock; and Terry Buttke, Susanne Cody, Christopher Dunkley, Kathryn Quest, Donald Rogers, and Travis Studnicka from Spring Green.
The 4PeteSake committee will be making a decision about The Day in the Park – its largest annual fundraiser – in June. In the meantime, donations can be made online at 4petesake.com or through the mail to P.O. Box 577 Spring Green, WI 53588. Checks should be made out to Christ Lutheran Church/4PeteSake.
Fall 2019/Spring 2020 Recipients
Terry Buttke and Jane Tanner
Spring Green’s Terry Buttke and his partner Jane Tanner have lived in their place on Shifflet Road for over 20 years. “Peaceful, beautiful and down to earth” is how Jane describes the River Valley. With Terry slowly losing vision in both eyes (“Terry calls it limited vision; I just call it blind,” says Jane), they were worried about a damaged kitchen floor becoming a hazard. After reading about 4PeteSake in the paper and hearing about the organization from friends and neighbors over the years, they reached out. 4PeteSake worked with Spring Green’s Mike Layton to do the repair work. “They were a big help,” says Tanner.
“Three hours and 10 minutes,” answered Spring Green’s Christopher Dunkley when asked how long it takes to drive from Spring Green to Rochester, MN. He knows this because for five straight weeks last year – Monday through Friday – he (along with wife Rachel) had to make the round-trip drive to the Mayo Clinic’s Sarcoma Center to receive specialized treatment. What started as a strange sensation in Dunkley’s thigh last spring turned into an odyssey when he was diagnosed with the rare Pleomorphic Sarcoma, a form of cancer which couldn’t be treated locally. With Dunkley and wife Rachel both looking at five weeks without paychecks – and months more for Christopher while he recovered from surgery – they turned to 4PeteSake. “We’ve been grateful for the help,” says Dunkley. “They’ve been awesome.”
A lifetime resident of Lone Rock and the youngest of nine, Diann Pulvermacher had been providing home care for her wheelchair-bound mom for 15 years when, last July, she required a medical procedure of her own. Routine tests taken at the time of the procedure revealed a mass on her colon, requiring an additional surgery. Then in December, her mom suffered a stroke and was moved to a nursing home. “I’m trying to stay positive, says Pulvermacher, “but it’s been a rough couple of years.” With a third major surgery currently delayed indefinitely due to the pandemic – and recovery to come – Pulvermacher’s landlords, Marilyn and Dick Jensen, suggested she reach out to 4PeteSake. “They helped me through a hard time in my life,” she says.
A lifelong River Valley-area dairy farmer, Spring Green’s Donald Rogers moved into the village in the early 2000s. He likes to keep busy in the yard while his wife Sandy plants and tends flowers. Recently, however, congestive heart failure has been slowing him down and then last year he required a major surgery that required Sandy to take a prolonged leave of absence from work without pay. “Jackie Nolan from Royal Bank mentioned 4PeteSake to us,” remembers Sandy. “And then Don’s daughter Shelly (Crook) picked up an application.” 4PeteSake has been able to help the Rogers with household expenses while Donald recovers.
“I knew something was seriously wrong when I couldn’t pull back my hunting bow.” An avid outdoorsman, Lone Rock’s Charles Stokes had injured his shoulder snowboarding with his kids in February 2019, but when x-rays didn’t reveal a break, he was assigned physical therapy. The pain only worsened. Over the next six months, Stokes got more x-rays – and was even treated for Lyme Disease – before requesting an MRI. The MRI confirmed that nothing was broken; it did, however, reveal what the x-rays couldn’t: two tendons connecting his shoulder to his arm were completely torn off the bone. Stokes was looking at missing 5-6 months of work running a printing press in Boscobel as he recovered from surgery. A friend suggested that the family reach out to 4PeteSake. The organization has been able to help out Stokes and his family with household expenses during his recovery. “I never would have imagined that help like this was out there,” says Stokes. “I look forward to giving back when I can.”
After 27 years with Sub Zero Freezer in Madison, Arena’s Martin Weston started experiencing severe hand pain. Soon the Army vet couldn’t open a jar with his left hand or use the thumb on either. The diagnosis – bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis – put him on short term disability. Surgeries on both hands – originally scheduled for this spring – have been indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So with disability coverage ending in April, Weston and wife Kristine reached out to 4PeteSake, who have been able to help the couple (and their five chihuahuas) with household expenses. “4PeteSake has definitely been a big help,” says Weston. “I’m grateful to be a recipient and I look forward to helping them out when I can.”
To make an online contribution, visit 4petesake.com or send checks to P.O. Box 577 Spring Green, WI 53588. Checks should be made out to Christ Lutheran Church/4PeteSake.
4PeteSake thanks the River Valley Community for 15 years of generous support!
Apply for assistance
The next funding cycle is tentatively scheduled for fall, 2020. Additional information and application forms are available online at 4petesake.com. Applications are also available at Arcadia Books, 102 E. Jefferson Street in Spring Green. Completed applications should be mailed to: 4PeteSake, P.O. Box 577, Spring Green, WI. Applicants may also write to the address above to request that an application be sent to them. Questions about the application process may be directed to 4PeteSake Committee Member Todd Miller at 608-588-4619.
4PeteSake provides funds for River Valley residents who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in health-related circumstances and are in need of financial assistance. Applicants must be residents of the River Valley School District.
Since 2005, 4PeteSake has provided over $1.2 million of assistance to more than 90 recipients.
4PeteSake is run by a 9-member, volunteer group. The independent committee is part of the public outreach program of Christ Lutheran Church, which gives 4PeteSake access to a 501(c) 3 organization, allowing contributions to be tax-deductible.
The committee chooses at least one recipient each year through an application process. Recipients must live within the boundaries of the River Valley School District and find themselves in circumstances, through no fault of their own, for which assistance is needed. All recipients must have had medically related needs.
The group’s mission is to raise money to assist recipients in a way that can substantially change their circumstances and impact their quality of life.