Helping with what’s in the closet

Cancer Unit Loan Closet gets 100-Plus Women’s donation of $23K

THE PEOPLE WHO help operate the Dickinson County Cancer Unit Loan Closet, which this month received a roughly $23,000 donation from the 100-Plus Women Who Care of Dickinson County. From left are volunteer Bonnie Hyde, president Diane Schabo and volunteers Linda Clark and Lynn Burke. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

KINGSFORD — The Dickinson County Cancer Unit Loan Closet now has a roughly $23,000 boost for its efforts, thanks to the 100-Plus Women Who Care of Dickinson County.

The DCCLC recently got the 100-Plus Women’s nod to receive this quarter’s donation.

“We were floored, actually,” Diane Schabo, president of the Loan Closet, said of the news. “We have never won before and have been at it now for about four years. We kept thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, if we could only win.’ This is weird, but in church the Sunday before, I said to the congregation during prayer time, ‘If you could you pray for the Loan Closet …’ and so this Sunday, I said, ‘I know your not going to believe this, but prayer works.'”

The Loan Closet helps cancer and non-cancer patients with a variety of services, including medical equipment at no charge, some forms of financial assistance such as to cover travel expenses or prescription costs or just providing someone to listen. Clients come not just from

Dickinson County, but Florence, Aurora, Niagara and Spread Eagle in Wisconsin.

In 2017, the site at 201 E. Breitung Ave. in Kingsford saw 113 cancer patients and 308 non-cancer. So far this year, it has handled 188 cases, 45 with cancer, 143 with another health condition.

The closet is completely operated by volunteers and relies on community funds and donations, so the 100-Plus Women Who Care donation represents a welcome boost.

“When they said our name, people immediately started clapping. Diane hadn’t even gotten up there yet. I think everyone was hoping and praying, because this is a very worthy cause,” volunteer Bonnie Hyde said.

The funds will go toward at least three areas at the cancer closet. Better supplement products will be stocked. “Because we have some extra money, now we can upgrade our Ensure. We had Ensure Plus, but now we can upgrade to Ensure Enlive, which has more protein,” Schabo said.

New lift chairs will be purchased. “Lift chairs for me have been a big thing,” Schabo said, “because when my husband was so sick, his last two months of life he literally lived in his lift chair, because that was the only thing he was comfortable in.”

Finally, they plan to add more wheelchairs. “We have very few 16-inch wheelchairs. Some of the clients have lost a lot of weight or were tiny to begin with and need the smaller chair,” she explained.

After those three priorities are fulfilled, they will look at other areas. “Maybe we can up their cancer drug amount, then maybe what we are giving them for transportation,” she said.

Items already available at the DCCLC include: wheelchairs, four-wheel walkers, bed rails, canes,

commodes, crutches, electric lift chairs, knee walkers, overbed tables, shower chairs, toilet risers, transfer benches, walkers, Ensure supplement drinks, incontinence pads and underwear, wigs, hats and scarves.

They also offer up to $500 a year to assist cancer clients for cancer prescriptions and up to $750 a year for gas mileage for out-of-town, cancer-related physician appointments. Applications for monetary help are available at the office and must be renewed annually.

For more information on the DCCLC, call 906-776-0966 or the office is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

This latest donation pushed 100-Plus Women Who Care in Dickinson County to more than a half-million dollars given out to local 501(c)(3) charities and organizations in Dickinson County and surrounding Wisconsin communities since December 2012.

The group meets quarterly at the Pine Grove Country Club, with individuals or teams each contributing $100 into the pool. They then draw names of three organizations to make presentations to the gathering on why they should receive the night’s donations, after which the group votes to choose who gets the money.

Past recipients include: The Salvation Army, First Presbyterian Church Soup Kitchen, Northwoods AirLifeline, Friends of the Braumart, Family Ties Adult Day Care, Dickinson County Hospital Foundation, Menominee Range Historical Foundation, Trinity Methodist Meal Program, Almost Home Animal Shelter, St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry, Heart and Soles of 906, Habitat for Humanity, Trico, Badwater Ski-ters, Friends of the Florence County Library, Grace United Methodist Missions, Walk of Life, Mountain View Ice Arena, Kiwanis Ski Club, Niles Hiltunen Benefit Fund and Northern Lights YMCA.

“We have a dynamic group of women that keep 100-Plus Women going strong. We are thrilled to be able to impact so many diverse and deserving charities and organizations in our area. To think that we have surpassed a half a million dollars in just 24 meetings is a testament to these remarkable women,” said Kristine Leonard of 100-Plus Women.

For more information about 100-Plus Women or to join, email