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Please protect Iowa River Hospice

I grew up in Marshalltown and knew Charlie, Mid, and Lisa Lander very well. From the first capital campaign request in 2007, I realized that Lisa Lander Holmberg, Kris Johnson Geiger and Carmi Trullinger Olson were going to easily fulfill Mid Lander’s dream of a Hospice Home in Marshalltown.

Many icons of the Marshalltown community donated the $2.1 million that was needed to make the Home a reality. Many people worked with the city and the architects to design the facility that has been available to Marshall County and other central Iowa residents in need of end-of-life care. Just look at the contributions from Mid Lander ($1 million), the families of George Whitehill, William Lane, Avonelle Tye Tank and organizations like Lennox Manufacturing, the Martha Ellen Tye Foundation, the McFarland Clinic and Mitchell Family Funeral Home.

Earlier this year I learned that the legacy and uniqueness of the Iowa River Hospice Home are being compromised by plans to put a road through the Hospice property. I understand that the city wants the IRH to cooperate with the plan or it will take what it wants by eminent domain. Hostage taking doesn’t seem like a reasonable choice.

I hope everyone involved can find compassion and empathy for those families who need the tranquility of the Iowa River Hospice Home as they face the imminent death of their loved ones. All of us have or will have a first-hand experience with IRH.

Please do the right thing for the people of Marshalltown and honor the legacy of Mid Lander and others who gave this Home to the community. Please find another route for the road, the construction and the disruption the road will cause.

Marshalltown is a much different community today than it was when I left many years ago. The Landers and those who built the Hospice Home should be remembered and honored for their place in history.

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