Foundation for Firelands

Donor Stories

As a not-for-profit hospital, Firelands Regional Medical Center acts as a safety net for our community. Your donations help hundreds of people receive the healthcare services they need when they need them.

We Give Because…

Joe Buti, Materials Management

Joe Buti may have joined the Firelands team only two years ago, but he already feels a sense of belonging at Firelands. He and his wife, Kim, who also works for Firelands, have made giving back to the organization a priority in their lives for many reasons.

“There is always something good going on at Firelands,” Joe says, “When you work in a hospital, you want to see people get better. I think giving back is a way to do that, even if it’s small. It doesn’t take a lot and there is always something that can be done.”

Joe and his family are proud to help local people, citing that by helping in our local community they get to “see the results right here.” Joe has worked in other medical centers and has always participated in employee giving because he feels a sense of duty to help people during their time of need.

“I’m so blessed to be where I am today,” he says, “Others aren’t as fortunate and need help, so that is why we give. I also think that by giving collectively, we can help to ensure that people have the resources they need right here.”

Valerie Ritzenthaler, RN, Surgery

Valerie Ritzenthaler has spent several decades in the Operating Room, so she knows what teamwork is all about. She also knows that teamwork is the key to helping people receive the best healthcare, no matter what their circumstances, and that is why she loves Firelands.

“Everyone has everyone’s back here,” she says. “We look out for each other as we would a family member.” Valerie has found over the years that her job is made better by the generosity of others and so she has extended that same generosity as a donor to The Foundation for Firelands. Valerie has made gifts to enhance the surgical department, but also routinely gives to other campaigns to meet needs as they arise within our region, whether it is through cancer care, women’s health or ensuring newborns get a great start in life.

“I feel it is really important for the community to give back. I see others in need and I can help. It does my heart good,” she explains. “My family feels very strongly about community and commitment. Our support of Firelands centers on this belief in helping others during their time of need.”

Jason Blanton, Radiation Therapist, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Regional Medical Center

As a radiation therapist, Jason Blanton has seen people at their worst, during essential but challenging rounds of cancer treatments. He also sees people at a time when they are most in need of help, when cancer is not only physically challenging, but also financially devastating. That is why he gives…

“I like helping people, especially when I can give them something positive to focus on in the midst of an uncertain time,” he says. “Often, we can take things in life for granted. Things like clothing and even food become a big burden to some cancer patients,” Jason explains. “It makes me feel good to help people get the things they need. It may be something small, but it means a lot to patients when they are going through a difficult time.”

In his fifteen years, Jason has personally helped patients with clothing items, but also gives to other important campaigns to enhance the health of our community.

“This year, the Annual Appeal helped to bring baby boxes to families in need,” he says. “What a great idea to combat infant mortality. I am proud to be a part of it.”

Best Cellars Book Club Necklace

In 2013, a local book club decided to create a charm necklace after being inspired by the book, “The Necklace” by Cheryl Jarvis. In the book, thirteen women share a single necklace and forge a bond that is truly life-changing. View this video to hear how the women of the Best Cellars Book Club were inspired to create their own necklace and to donate it to The Foundation for Firelands Mammogram and Breast Cancer Fund.

Shelly Chesbro, owner, Mark Advertising, Sandusky

donor stories

From the moment Shelly Chesbro first donned her red and white candy-striper uniform in her early teens as a volunteer at Good Samaritan Hospital, she learned first-hand the meaning of giving back.

Read Shelly's full donor story here.

Tim Mayles, accountant, Barnes Wendling Accountants, Sandusky

"I give because we are fortunate to have Firelands Regional Medical Center in our community."

Read Tim's full donor story here.

Ted Kastor, VP, Business Development, Janotta & Herner, Inc.

donor stories"The employee-owners at Janotta & Herner see our support of The Foundation for Firelands as a way to give back to the community we live and work in. We also see Firelands as our safety net. It's comforting to know that if one if our employees is injured, Firelands has the resources to get him or her feeling better and back to work.

"Our employees support Firelands by sponsoring golf teams for the "Caddyshack" Open and participating in various other events that raise funds to enhance patient care and services. It's a partnership that we are very proud to have."

Beth Mathews, Mathews Ford, Sandusky

"We support The Foundation for Firelands cancer program fund and mammogram and breast cancer fund because we have seen the impact it has on patients and families who are dealing with the financial burden of a cancer diagnosis."

Read Beth's full donor story here.

Jim Wible, president, American Colors Inc., Sandusky

donor stories

"American Colors has been a long-standing supporter of The Foundation for Firelands. We are proud to have a nationally ranked medical center and physicians right here in Sandusky. For our 50 employees, having Firelands Regional Medical Center just minutes away means better health; more productive workdays; and happier, healthier families.

"American Colors has supported the Initiative for Firelands, a capital campaign which helped to fund renovations and construction at the hospital, and the Firelands cancer program fund."

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