The River District Development Foundation of Merrill announces that Marshfield Clinic recently made a three-year commitment in the amount of $40,000 to the River Bend Trail capital campaign development fund.  Construction of the first phase of the trail is expected to begin in the spring.  The first phase of the River Bend Trail begins at the Center Avenue Bridge and heads west to Council Grounds State Park.  The foundation raised the funds needed to purchase the abandoned Canadian National rail-bed last October and then gifted the property to the City of Merrill for the development of the trail.
Physicians and staff at Marshfield Clinic are strong supporters of the trail.  “Marshfield Clinic is very happy to contribute to the development of the River Bend Trail of Merrill,” said Steven Dahm, M.D., general surgeon at Marshfield Clinic Merrill Center.  “We believe in helping to improve the health and wellness of our communities and this trail is a wonderful way to celebrate the area’s natural beauty and encourage physical fitness at the same time,” said Dahm. Dahm is also a board member of the River District Development Foundation of Merrill.
“Our philanthropic efforts focus on meeting community needs, supporting families and children and improving health and wellness.  This project meets all of those objectives,” added Gail Bloch, operations manager at the Marshfield Clinic Merrill Center.
According to Bloch, the Merrill Center has a long-standing history of caring for the community.  Its roots trace back over 130 years to Drs. Bergeson and Monroe who built what was known as the Merrill Hospital.  It was later converted to a clinic by the Ravn physician family.  Today Marshfield Clinic Merrill Center provides comprehensive healthcare including family and internal medicine, general surgery, physical therapy, lab and pharmacy services with 15 on-site providers and over 90 employees.  Close to 25 visiting specialists also provide in areas such as cardiology, cancer care, orthopedics, and endocrinology.
The Marshfield Clinic system provides patient care, research and education with more than 50 locations in northern, central and western Wisconsin making it one of the largest comprehensive medical systems in the United States.
To make a tax-deductible donation to the River Bend Trail capital campaign fund, make check payable to the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin and indicate in the memo area:  River District Development Foundation Fund, 500 First St., Suite 2600, Wausau, WI  54403. For more information on the River Bend Trail, contact Debbe Kinsey at the Merrill Chamber Foundation at 715-536-9474.
The River District Development Foundation of Merrill and the Friends of the River District are both community project funds of the Merrill Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc.