Zimmer foundation helps with cancer-center donation

by Cori Hilsgen


Because of help she received through the Mark Zimmer Foundation, St. Cloud resident Tami Jean Amundson was able to make a donation to the Coborn Cancer Center, Acupuncture Patient Services.

Amundson was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2008 and was cancer-free for more than seven years until recently when she was re-diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.

Amundson works as a paraprofessional for the St. Cloud School District and also works part-time/on-call for the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, but she needed to take a leave of absence from work due to her cancer.

A benefit, which was supported by the Mark Zimmer Foundation and hosted by St. Joseph resident Jeny Meyer, was held for Amundson in July.

Meyer said without the foundation, the event would not have been as seamless for the family.

“The services they provide are fantastic,” she said.

The Mark Zimmer Foundation answered any questions Meyer had about planning the benefit, supplied bid sheets for the silent auction, collected donations through the organization’s bank account, helped with checking out silent-auction items by providing volunteers and the ability to accept credit cards, made a night deposit of funds for the bank to count and met with her to discuss the final results of the benefit. At the end of the benefit, the foundation wrote one check to the family.

Amundson wanted to use some of the money raised through the fundraiser to pay it forward. On Aug. 16 she presented a $1,000 check to the Coborn Cancer Center, Acupuncture Patient Services.

With her first cancer treatments, Amundson found great benefit from acupuncture treatments. Unfortunately, she needed to pay for the treatments out-of-pocket and could not afford to have them as often as she would have liked.

When she learned the cancer center had added this to its list of services, she very much wanted to purchase an acupuncture table for the new department.

Amundson discussed her plans with her doctor, Dr. John Miley. After researching options, Miley recommended the table include electric lifts and a pneumatic tilt feature for ease of all patients. That style of table usually costs $2,000 to $2,200. They decided on an Earthlite Ellora Vista Electric Lift Table with Pneumatic Tilt Option. It is a 32-inch-wide table.

Amundson is married to Phil Amundson, and they have six children.

The Mark Zimmer Foundation is a non-profit corporation named after former LaPlayette owner, Mark Zimmer, who died Dec. 10, 2010 after being diagnosed with stomach cancer. The foundation helps with area needs.

Zimmer owned and operated the LaPlayette Bar in St. Joseph, Zim’s Pub in Melrose, and co-owned Beck’s Pub in Becker and Clearwater Corners in Clearwater. He was also a realtor with Edina Realty. Zimmer was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in St. Joseph, a member and past president of the St. Joseph Jaycees,  a member of the St. Joseph Lions, and past president of the St. Joseph Recreation Association. He was the recipient of the 2002 St. Joseph Kelly Award.

contributed photo
Because of help received from the Mark Zimmer Foundation and St. Joseph resident Jeny Meyer, Tami Jean Amundson was able to pay it forward with a donation to the Coborn Cancer Center, Acupuncture Patient Services. Pictured (left to right) are Luan Knoll, CentraCare Foundation; Sonya Wieber, Oncology Section director; Meyer; Amundson and Dr. John Miley, integrative therapist at the Coborn Cancer Center.

Cori Hilsgen

Cori Hilsgen


Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.
Cori Hilsgen
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