A Minnesota based non profit has teamed up with the Portage Health Foundation, to create an endowment to help support Copper Country residents batting cancer. Last Friday the Keller Family Community Foundation announced the start to the 83,000 dollar Ride With Claudia transportation endowment fund, that will purchase gas gift cards for cancer patients traveling for medical appointments.
“And so we started with small amounts, and trying to get to a lot of people. And we saw the impact, and in this area, there’s further mileage to be covered. And so we went with more money per person. We know that it doesn’t cover the full cost of transportation, but to just help ease that burden. And help people know that they are supported in their cancer diagnosis, their treatments, and their recovery.” – Julie Keller-Dornbusch, President Keller Family Community Foundation
The Keller family has a special connection with the Keweenaw Peninsula through snowmobiling, friends turning into family and preserving the memory of Claudia McIntyre.
“I’d always stop at Pat’s Yamaha and Claudia was always there giving me support. Some days it was very hard for me to continue on the big miles. She was always there for me , everyday with a hug and a kiss. And we’d talk aobut things, and she really helped me through some dark times.” – Nick Keller, Long-time Friend of Claudia McIntyre
Nick Keller and Claudia McIntyre’s friendship blossomed into an even larger family for both. After Claudia’s passing, her son Chad McIntyre and Nick Keller retired the sled named after Claudia, when the odometer matched her birth date.
“A lot of family there, a lot of support on Nicks backside, with the people that have ridden with him over the years. As a part of the Valentine’s Day 500 Challenge. And it was an emotional day, and it was neat to see it. And it’s neat to still have the sled he did it on with. So we’ll be displaying it here at M&M Powersports, and I get to sit on it for a while now.” – Chad McIntyre, Claudia McIntyre’s son
The Keller Family Community Foundation’s Ride with Cluadia transportation fund has distributed more than 500,000 dollars of assistance in Michigan Wisconsin and Minnesota. Family members hope the seed money for the endowment is just the start to local donations, to help build the fund and provide as much assistance as possible. You can find more information about the Ride with Claudia transportation fund at phfgive.org
Read more about the Ride with Claudia Transportation Fund here on phfgive.org.