Bike For Cancer Care


Sunday, September 17, 2017



Andrew Finnigan

“Thanks so much for your continued love and support of Andrew Finnigan.  Andy just turned 10 years old; he was diagnosed in California 5 years ago with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma.  We immediately moved to New York for his treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, making Woodstock our new home.  The Gruner Fund has been so helpful during times of treatment.  It has carried us through as we have walked the Cancer pathwhile we were working on breathing and didn’t even know how much we needed support.  Andy and our family have been fighting his Cancer for almost 5 years with great success.  After two relapses, moving to New York has been the best decision we made in fighting for the cancer cure for Andrew.
Thanks so much for walking with us and for your heartfelt and generous support…it has meant so much in our lives.

The Finnigans

“Very few good things have happened to me recently. Several months ago, I lost my wife of 58 years, and a few months ago I was diagnosed with cancer. What next? And then your gift of $500 in gas cards arrived. What a timely present. I can honestly say that I have never asked for a “hand out” before. When the social worker at Ulster Radiation said that I was qualified for help, I swallowed my pride and extended my hand. I am 81 years old coming from an old fashioned, working, conservative background, and that was a hard thing for me to do.

So let me say a simple, but sincere, “thank you.” I will use your thoughtful gift as intended, to defray some of the travel expenses that I am incurring every day driving from Red Hook to the Center in Kingston for treatment. God bless you and your organization.”

– Respectfully, Edward Sandfort

Kristin-Flynn“Thank you to the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund for the support I am receiving in the form of Stewart’s gas cards. The cards are helping me with all the extra mileage costs incurred travelling to daily treatments for breast cancer.
I never imagined that I would be the recipient of this generous Fund. Only a year and a half year ago, I was happily standing at the bike ride registration handing in pledge money that I had raised to ride the 50 mile loop of the
Bike for Cancer Care.
I am an avid cyclist and fundraised for the ride at my workplace. I was so happy to let everyone know on Monday morning that I had finished the ride and improved on my previous 50 mile time. Little did I know that in the near future I would be coming to the Fund to ask for assistance—thank you for being there!
I hope to be out on the ride again soon raising money for others that need support.”

– Kristin Flynn

“I want to let you know how invaluable the Rosemary Gruner Cancer Fund is. The program alleviates stress for people who don’t know where their next meal will come from or how they will buy gas for their cars to get to their doctors appointments. I know firsthand how stressful it is. Receiving this assistance has been a godsend and lifesaver for me. I’m on a fixed income and it is very difficult to make ends meet. I’m ashamed to say that I have resorted to going through our recyclable containers in my development for deposit bottles to redeem just to have a couple of dollars for gas.
I hope the Rosemary Gruner fund will continue to help people like me. It has eased the hardship I have encountered since my diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer to my bones and now to my liver. I am eternally grateful for your help.”

– Marilyn Whaley

Team Ozzy & Team Apo

Team Ozzy & Team Apo

“Recently I was asked to share the reasons why we donate to the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Bike for Cancer Fund. When my husband Ozzie was diagnosed with rectal cancer in July of 2009, I felt as though we were given a death sentence. I lost my Mom to colon cancer in 1965. I was a sophomore in high school, and she had just celebrated her 42nd birthday before she passed. For most of my life, I have associated cancer with death. Back then, the idea of a cure was pretty remote, and chemotherapy and radiation treatments were not all that accessible. Since then, much has changed.

When Ozzie started treatment prior to his surgery, we went daily for radiation treatments, and weekly for chemotherapy. At Benedictine Hospital’s Oncology Center, we had the pleasure of meeting recipients who were benefiting from the great rewards of the Gruner Fund. It was a wonderful experience to learn that the Fund afforded people with gift cards for food and gas cards to afford transportation to and from treatment. The Oncology Support Program offered counseling, support groups and many other services.

In September of 2009, our sons Paul and Joe formed “Team Ozzie” for the Bike for Cancer. So many of our friends, family and business associates were so generous donating to the cause, and they continue to do so.

It has been a truly rewarding experience to participate in such a great cause. We were very fortunate — we had good insurance, a strong family core, and family and friends who were on our journey along with us. Some days were harder than others, but at the end of each day we were always very grateful to the Lord above.

I encourage anyone who would like to make a difference to join us in September, and participate in the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Bike for Cancer Care Ride. Good food, good company, and at the end of the day a great feeling of accomplishment.”

Kathleen M. Beichert – May 2013


Al Hackbarth with Dan Gruner

“To receive a “gift” from people that don’t even know me has touched me deeply. I will never forget everything the Gruner Fund has done for me, and so many others in our community. You truly are a special group of people.”

Al Hackbarth,
Gruner Fund Recipient and Friend
In Loving Memory April 1959 – August 2012


“One morning in late October I awoke abruptly with the certainty of what lay before me. I hadn’t recollected an unfinished item in the prior day’s required laundry list of “to-do’s” or even remembered a missed correspondence with one of my clients. I started the day knowing my left breast contained cancer.

I scoured my home searching for the prescription my Doctor had issued to me last spring, but hadn’t been ready to address. Within hours the script was retrieved and validated, and an appointment was made for early the next week.

Gratefully, I had spent the past year nurturing my profession in Energy Work which included deep meditations and Personal Transformational Explorations so that FEAR of physical challenges was not part of my experience during the inevitable diagnosis of breast cancer, the surgery following diagnosis, or the prescribed treatment plan.

The factor that did shake my soul was created by coinciding marketing of our family home. Due to the impending sale of the house, the attached apartment, and the intended source of income, was now empty. Being unable to do my Energy Work, unable to access rental income and now finding myself an unmarketable fifty-six year old woman in cancer treatment, the family unit rapidly depleted the investment fund and savings account.

Precious lives counted on me to keep our family financially afloat, and I was without viable resources. At this point, fear and trepidation loomed over the start of my Radiation Therapy and the cusp of the New Year. And then, while waiting to meet my Radiation Oncologist, without fuss or fanfare, a gracious lady with a quiet and discreet tone simply asked if my financial resources were in tact. I took a breath and with tears streaming down my face I revealed to this kind sole that I had exhausted all avenues of revenue. My “Guardian Angel” simply patted my hand and said that she would help me apply for a gift, and the essential short term solution, from the Rosemary D. Gruner Fund. Within a week, gift certificates discreetly arrived to enable the purchase of food, gas and supplies. I could finally let my mind rest while my body worked with the radiation.

You may be wondering why I would reveal this humbling experience to the public. My answer is two fold. The first is that I am certain I cannot be the only woman who has found herself caught short while in the process of restructuring her empty nest and family unit. We are a group of women who are not eligible, nor wish to be, for permanent disability funds and we are definitely not a prime resource, at the over fifty mark, in the standard job market. We are still the back-up plan for our grown children and now our parents, yet we are desperately working at carving out a restructured life that feeds our spirits and latent talents. We are not familiar with an environment lacking in resources nor with the process of accessing public assistance. We are used to providing the solution rather than being the problem. I am offering this experience to inform you of an existing “life-line” that is available, upon qualification and merit, to those of us who find ourselves addressing cancer and needing assistance during the process.

My second reason for bearing my personal challenges to you is to request support for the very foundation that exists to sustain of so many appreciative and deserving souls who find themselves the recipients of the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Fund during their cancer treatment.

The Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Fund exists as a living monument to an extraordinary lady who spent her life giving to the community and its people. Rosemary’s family continues this generosity, and joy of giving, by personally addressing the needs of each individual request. The family aspiration is to transmute the power of loss and grief with the power of joy in giving.

As we take, we must replenish. Each of us, whether it is yourself, a family member or a friend has tasted the bitter fruits of cancer. I encourage anyone who has found themselves challenged in some way by this “dis-ease” to ask and accept help from others who find joy in lending a hand. And I hope whoever reads this article will offer whatever gifts you may be able to share and whatever financial support you may be able to give so that this extraordinary lady and her courageous family can continue to lend a helping hand to women and men like me. The dignity of our spirit and soul cannot be claimed by Cancer.

I offer the Gruner family my eternal appreciation and support of The Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund.”

– Sallie Bollin


Lisa Hart

Lisa Hart

“The Bike for Cancer was a great event! I volunteered because this was an opportunity for me to give back to the Gruner Cancer Fund, of which I was a recipient in 2012, while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. I’m not sure how I managed all day while being on chemotherapy, but I had a great time! The local news station interviewed me and I was asked to speak at the podium during the awards ceremony. I expressed my deep, deep gratitude for the fund and being a recipient of the Hannaford food cards and the Stewart’s gas cards. I was out of work for the 10 months of treatment, and both really came in handy! I will be a volunteer for ever more at this wonderful event to give back what was so graciously given to me when I needed help.”

With deep gratitude, Lisa Hart


One day, as I was watching television an advertisement appeared on the screen. The message went something like this: “A diagnosis of cancer will change your life for ever.” Truer words were never spoken. On January 5, 2011, I began the eight and half weeks of radiation at the Oncology Department at Benedictine Hospital. I live in Tannersville which is forty-two miles (one way) from the hospital.  The support, the compassion and radiation I have received are beyond my expectations. The entire staff turned my fear into hope.

Due to the economic situation we are all facing, gas prices are reaching extremes.  Along came my Angel of Mercy. I met a fantastic, caring person named Pat Ernenwein, LCSW. She offered me a five hundred dollar sum from the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund to help with the expense of gas. She worked with your Support House and I received my gift cards from Stewarts. This was an unexpected windfall but definitely appreciated. My heart felt thanks go to anyone who had anything to do with your decision to help me. I now only have a matter of days left to complete the prescribed radiation treatment. I want everyone to know how much your gift meant and I can assure you it was used for gas to and from Benedictine.

Sincerely, Larry Clinton – February 2011



Benedictine Health Foundation
c/o The Rosemary Gruner Fund
105 Mary’s Avenue, Kingston NY 12401.