Benefit to aid local advocate
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — The Personal Development Center of Marshfield (PDC) was created in 1977 to provide assistance for those in abusive relationships. Through its programs, the private nonprofit provides options and resources with a vow of confidentiality and safety.
In addition, the PDC conducts case management and offers prevention and awareness education in the community to help avert other potential episodes of violence and abuse.
“Late last week we did the annual proclamation for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is the month of October in Wisconsin,” said Marshfield Mayor Chris Meyer during the Oct. 11 common council meeting. “As part of that proclamation, we read some of the statistics on domestic violence right here in Marshfield.
“One that jumps out at me every year, especially this year, is that the Personal Development Center last year helped 669 people in the Marshfield area. That means 669 people who were in abusive relationships were able to get help through the Personal Development Center.”
During the meeting Meyer gave credit to PDC Director Renee Schulz-Stangl and her staff for their dedication to the agency and those it serves.
Schulz-Stangl is a devoted advocate who not only serves the local community but the state as well. She is co-chair on Gov. Scott Walker’s Committee on Domestic Violence.
“Here in town she does domestic violence, she does supervised visitations, and sexual assault victim services,” said Shelly Knudson. “She recently enacted a program at the high school, where the students are receiving ongoing training. There is a Personal Development Center representative onsite working with the kids on sexual assault prevention and sexual assault awareness.
“Renee has done some really great things for our state and our city.”
Diagnosis and treatment
This past July, Schulz-Stangl was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a condition where the body no longer produces enough new blood cells, after which she was put into an immediate sequester and preparation for a bone marrow transplant.
“Most people that get diagnosed with aplastic anemia, there is a very high fatality rate because they can’t find bone marrow donors,” said Knudson. “There are bone marrow banks out there, just like there are blood banks, but not many people will actually donate to them.
“Renee’s brother Brian matched on all markers, which is almost unheard of. … It is statistically unheard of. She got her transplant two weeks ago.
“She does have insurance. However, insurance wasn’t available through her employer. She has a Marketplace plan covering barely anything.
“It’s depleted her family’s entire finances completely.”
While only an acquaintance of Schulz-Stangl, Knudson was driven to champion a cause based on Schulz-Stangl’s impact on the community.
“If I could have done all this under an anonymous name, I would have. I wish more people would step up when they see anyone in need so long as it is not a sacrifice to them or family,” explained Knudson. “I firmly believe that is what we all should do. Hopefully, by these examples I set, for at least my children and those around me that see this occur, perhaps I can create more people with that reasoning.”
On Nov. 10 Knudson’s efforts will come to fruition as the Benefit for Renee Schulz-Stangl will be hosted at RiverEdge Golf Course.
The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a cocktail hour, followed by a dinner at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m. the event will open to the public with live music and auctions continuing until 10 p.m.
Tickets to the meal are $25 per person and must be purchased by Nov. 3. Tickets are available at Hiller’s True Value, Scotty’s Pizza & Chicken, Bakerville Bar, RiverEdge, PDC, Martin Dental, Eye Care Center, and Nutz Deep II.
In conjunction with the event, Knudson is raffling off a Green Bay Packer ticket package as well as a Marquette vs. Wisconsin men’s basketball ticket package.
For more information, to purchase dinner or raffle tickets, or to donate to the event, contact Shelly Knudson at 715-486-5554.