Jim and Sue Spierings know the help cancer patients need because they’ve been there.
Jim was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer in 2007 at age 50. After successful treatment at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, the family created the Spierings Cancer Foundation to help other families. Their main fund-raiser, Rock Cancer, held on the third Saturday each August in Little Chute, has raised $775,000. The money helps families with the cost of dealing with cancer and pay for medical care and cancer research.
Their work has earned them the 2018 Health Care Volunteer Award, sponsored Ascension and ThedaCare. It is one of seven volunteer awards being presented at the annual Celebrating Volunteers community gala, April 26 at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton. The event is sponsored by the Community Foundation and The Post-Crescent.
“This isn’t my foundation,” Jim said. “This is my mom’s foundation. It’s my sisters’ foundation. And if you or your family have been affected by cancer, it’s your foundation, too.”
One nominator described the Spierings simply as good people. “The have big hearts and caring personalities.”
They will receive $5,000 to give to a favorite local charity or charities.
Hanns Kretzschmar Award for Excellence in the Arts – Renee Ulman
Paul & Elaine Groth Mentoring Award — Bob DeKoch
Youth Scholarship Award — Rachel Miserlian
Janet Berry Volunteer of the Year Award — Cheri Duchrow
Walter L. Rugland Community Service Award — Nancy Heykes
Health Care Volunteer Award — Jim and Sue Spierings
Business Partnership Award — Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs and McMAHON