BRMH Emergency Department Receives Gift of Crocheted Comfort Shawls


During a visit to her hometown of Black River Falls, Ruanne Schoonover wanted to pay a special visit and donate some crocheted shawls to be used in the Emergency Department at Black River Memorial Hospital (BRMH). Ruanne, a retired industrial engineer, traveled here with her brother, Dan, a retired Fairbanks Alaska Hospital emergency room doctor. She chose BRMH as a recipient of her gift because of her strong ties to Black River Falls. Her father, Fred Schoonover worked at McGillivray’s Lumber Company and volunteered for decades with the BRF Fire Department and the Emergency Medical Service. Ruanne mentioned her father was cared for by our wonderful hospice department at the end of his life.

Carl Lash, BRMH emergency department director thanked Ruanne and said, “We are so grateful to receive these for our patients. It’s very comforting to them if we can provide something like this during a time that can be very trying.”

Ruanne and other volunteers have donated shawls to help comfort and provide warmth to patients in the hospice and homecare programs and others throughout the hospital. For anyone interested in volunteering their time to make shawls, patterns are available for printing on the website at


Crocheted comfort shawls were donated by Ruanne Schoonover (front row second from right) to help patients who are being treated in the emergency room at BRMH. Gratefully accepting the shawls are left-right front row, BRMH staff, Tiffany Gray, Patti Blazek, Schoonover, and Becca Thompson. Back row – Beth O’Brien, ED Director Carl Lash, and Toni Higgins.

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