Meet the Medical Center Foundation of Hartford
We gratefully acknowledge the commitment and dedication of our wonderful board of directors. They are community leaders who volunteer their time, contribute finacially and act as ambassadors for the foundation and out programs.
The Medical Center Foundation of Hartford’s mission is to serve the community by providing services and programs that contribute to the health and the vitality of the community.
Our purpose is to encourage and educate members of the community that working together we impact people’s lives. We do this by raising funds for new and existing programs and needed services, which benefit the communities we serve.
How We Got Started
The saying, “We have to know where we have been, so that we know where we are going” holds true in the history of institutions. The “roots” of Aurora Medical Center in Washington County date back 350 years to a dilapidated building situated between the Church of St. Thomas and the River Loire in the city of La Fleche, France.
In 1636, the hospital of La Fleche was named Hospital de la Fleche. In November 1643, the religious community of the Hospitallers of St. Joseph was formed, and as the congregation grew so did their reputation for care of the sick.
Where We Are Now
Today we continue to commit to our values and build on successes as we provide services and programs that contribute to the health and vitality of the community. Our purpose is to encourage and educate members of our community that working together, we impact lives. We do this by raising funds for new and existing programs and needed services which benefit the communities we serve.
We are proud of our history and the people who laid a foundation that allowed our foundation to grow. Dr. James Algiers, one of our founders, understood that we are here to serve others. “In serving we are leaders for our community. The need is great, and we have the great working with us.”
In 1926, the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph (based in Ontario, Canada) took a giant step and accepted the invitation of the citizens of Hartford, Wisconsin to assume the operation of their little hospital.
- 1926 – Hartford General Hospital was sold to the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph and renamed St. Joseph’s Hospital in honor of the patron saint of the order.
- 1929 – An addition allowed the hospital to accommodate 50 patients.
- 1958 – Another addition funded by the Hospitallers increased capacity to 62 patients.
- 1970 – The hospital was turned over to the community of Hartford and renamed Hartford Memorial Hospital.
Sarah Grotelueschen is the Executive Director for The MCF of Hartford. She joined the Foundation in 2018. Her background is in Healthcare and Financial Services. She is married and has 4 children and a dog named Georgia. “Joining the MCF of Hartford helps me connect with community needs. I love to help people.” Understanding the need to build a relationship and trust are vital in fundraising. I am very blessed to work with a group of board members who are totally committed to serving others. To lead you need to serve. This Foundation serves. I love my job. Sarah admits there are some days that are longer than others. She continues to believe that nothing happens by accident and the existence of this community foundation is because of God and the people he motivates to help others. In her free time Sarah loves to watch her kids on the softball field, coach softball, thrift shop and travel. Her favorite program is the adult day care, managed by Tamarack Adult Day Services.
Thomas E. Haley
Past President & Treasurer
Thomas Haley has served as treasurer for 16 years and is now our Past President. He currently is the President & CEO at Vermont State Bank in Vermont, IL. His ability to work with a variety of needs makes him a valuable part of the work the MCF of Hartford does. Tom appreciates his fellow board member’s dedication and their commitment to serve others. “Our board members really understand that we serve at the pleasure of the donors. Without the direction of the donors the foundation would not exist. This board is terrific at listening and being involved in community needs. I really enjoy working with all of them and I know the community appreciates them as well.”
Tom enjoys hiking and running in his spare time and his favorite program the foundation offers is the Personal Emergency Response System.
Ben Becker is the Medical Center Foundation of Hartford’s President. He has been a member of the MCF of Hartford board of directors for ten years. He works very closely with the community at Collins State Bank. His quiet, calm personality puts everyone at ease. “I enjoy developing relationships and working with others to help them achieve their goals, whether the goal is personal or financial.” Ben enjoys spending his time with family and friends and encourages everyone to learn more about the incredible work the MCF of Hartford. His favorite program is the Personal Emergency Response Program. “My mom worked in the ER at Aurora Medical Center. I believe this program helps give comfort to family members when their loved one is living alone. They do not need to feel alone anymore. Just push the button and help is on its way. This program saves lives and gives peace of mind to families.”
Scott Kirkendall joined as a board member in 2018. Scott’s positive attitude and approach in serving others makes serving on the Foundation’s board a perfect match. Scott works for Elkay Manufacturing in a position as the VP Sales and Customer Care Cordinator. His attitude towards working with others is evident in his commitment to serve. “I am committed to exceeding expectations and those expectations are reflected in the attitude and willingness of our employees to serve the communities in which we live.” Scott’s expertise in the corporate world translates well in working with board members and the community. He is a terrific addition to the board and he has a vision for the Foundation’s future in networking with the resources in our community. Scott enjoys spending time with his family and friend, recreational activities, and traveling. His favorite Foundation program is the adult day care, managed by Tamarack Adult Day Services because he sees the need to support families caring for their loved ones.
Carolyn Laufer has been a board member for over five years and is a lifelong resident of Hartford. She graduated from Columbia Hospital School of Nursing as an RN in 1982 and worked on the Medical -Surgical floor at Aurora Medical Center Hartford from 1982-1997. Carolyn now serves as the Vice President of Laufer Trucking Inc., which celebrated its 44th year in business this year. She is married to Al Laufer, owner of Laufer Trucking, Inc. and is the mother of three daughters. Carolyn understands the importance of a community foundation. She loves that when a gift is given to the MCF of Hartford it stays local and benefits the community. Her interests include: 2 grandson, and 3 step grandchildren, time spent with family and friends, reading, travel, yoga, and music. She is affiliated with Women In Trucking and Truckers Against Trafficking. Her favorite foundation program is the SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) Program. “I have become passionate about Anti-trafficking initiatives since my grandchildren were born. Trafficking has been an under the radar problem, that is finally receiving more attention, thereby causing a need for increased advocacy.”
Aaron is new to the Hartford community. He works at Forte Bank as a Senior Vice President of Business Banking. He is married and has two lovely children. He is a board member of the Hartford BID (Business Improvement District) and is an advisory Board Member of the HADC (Hartford Area Development Corp). In his spare time he enjoys traveling, fishing, hiking and volunteering. He loves being involved with the Medical Center Foundation of Hartford. When asked what was his favorite program, he said, “I would have a hard time picking just one program because I feel all the programs are so important to our community.”
Byron Schuster is a newer board member. He is an Edward Jones Financial Adviser in Hartford. Byron is dedicated and wants to be involved with the MCF of Hartford because he believes the Foundation’s purpose and his purpose is similar. He wants to encourage and educate community members that working together we impact lives. He knows knowledge is power and he wants the community to be well informed about their options not only about finances but also in caring for their family, friends and neighbors. He knows the MCF of Hartford is a resource for the community. Byron has had a lot of experience working with others. He is excited to begin his work as a board members. His favorite Foundation program is the Fitness Program because he knows the focus that is needed to improve one’s health involves the body, mind and spirit.
David Schlotthauer has been on the MCF of Hartford board since 2016. He’s a lifelong community member and works with his Dad in the family business, Douglas Jeweler. David knows that it takes time to establish trust in the community. His family business has been in business for over 40 years. He is involved with his church, The First United Methodist Church of Hartford, and is part of the Hartford Community Chorus. He is married to Katie who just recently became a Nurse Practitioner. Katie and David like to spend time with family and friends, and their dog, Larry. David is interested in supporting community activities personally and as a business. “I’m so happy to be part of the MCF of Hartford because they are an amazing organization that is committed to improving the health and vitality of the community.” David also enjoys singing, boating, and traveling. His favorite program is Medical Transportation because it assists so many in the community.
John Remmers joined the board in 2018. John is a Broan supervisor right here in Hartford. His interest in the MCF of Hartford came from years of working with medical equipment and helping others. He understands that working together impacts people’s lives everyday. His positive attitude is wonderful to work with and will prove to be a terrific asset on the board level and when working with community members. His desire to always do your best is a great way to stay motivated. In John’s spare time he enjoys going up north fishing and hiking every chance he gets. John’s favorite program the foundation offers is the Fitness Program because he knows that people need to exercise in order stay healthy and happy.
Scott Lopas’ favorite song is, “Enjoy Yourself, It’s Later Than You Think!” So he is enjoying life through his group tour and travel company and invites you to come see the world with him. As a local radio station owner for over 20 years and employed in broadcasting with WTKM in Hartford 20 years prior to that, he now feels blessed to serve on the MCF of Hartford board and as full time owner and journey-host of KM Tours. He and his staff can plan a trip for you for a fun filled day, or take you along on that trip of a lifetime. His focus is on your experience. Dedicated and determined are characteristics that describe Scott’s heart. His gifts and talents are used at the board level in all the programs and services that MCF of Hartford provides for the community. “I truly enjoy serving on this board. I realize MCF of Hartford means a lot to this community and I want to give back in a positive and meaningful way. MCF of Hartford one of several such groups I’ve aligned myself with that allows me to do that.” Scott loves and enjoys spending his free time with friends and family and of course catching a few Green Bay Packer and Milwaukee Brewer games. You’ll often hear him say, “Come Join the Fun… it’s later than you think!” His favorite program is the adult day care, managed by Tamarack Adult Day Services.
Marlene Confare is a long time community member and has enjoyed being a part of the MCF of Hartford for years. She has been a part of the planning and organization the Foundation’s mission. That mission is to serve the community with services and programs that contribute to the health of the community. Marlene is active in her church and understands that serving others is a privileged. She enjoys working with the board of directors and looks forward to the Algiers Goldbug Golf Classic every year because she loves to golf. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Marlene believes everyday brings an opportunity to help someone. Her favorite Foundation program is Personal Emergency Lifeline Program.
Steve Shimon is a proud member of MCF of Hartford board. He is also proud of his heritage and family’s commitment to the community. Shimon Funeral Home is a third and fourth generation of Hartford funeral directors serving families in the greater Washington & Dodge County for over 25 years. “It is our passion to help families in their time of need and to provide the highest level of service to those going through a very difficult time.” These words describe the work Steve Shimon shares with the MCF of Hartford as a board member. If you know Steve, you know he is ready and willing to help at any time. His is dedicated, kind-hearted, and compassionate. He is a great asset to this board and to the community. His favorite MCF of Hartford program is the adult day services, managed by Tamarack Adult Day Servies. “This facility and program is so important for the caregivers who work with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Its safe, structured, comprehensive programs offer a variety of social and emotional support for its clients.” Steve treasures his family time.
Ralph Kuepper is a retired plumber from Horsch and Miller Plumbing and Heating. He is an active community member who is very involved with community needs. He has been a board member for eight years. Ralph is also a Hartford Lion member. His ability to serve makes him a great and valued member to the community. Making a difference and impacting lives is what makes Ralph a great board member. If you need something done, Ralph will be happy to help. Ralph knows retirement is not always a time to sit back and relax. But rather it is a time to give back and to connect with those who need a helping hand. In his spare time, Ralph enjoys his grandchildren, traveling, photography and golfing. Ralph’s favorite MCF of Hartford’s program is the Adult Day Care – 1022 Club.
Get in Touch. Get Involved.
We are an organization supported by local community members and volunteers with big hearts. We would love for you to get in touch with us and help with our mission.