William N. Pennington Foundation provides half a million-dollar donation to support Carson Tahoe Cancer Center


William N. Pennington Foundation provides half a million-dollar donation to support Carson Tahoe Cancer Center


The William N. Pennington Foundation recently granted $543,898 for renovations of the only no-cost lodging in our region for patients facing cancer. The grant will cover all of the internal cottage upgrades, including new furniture, fireplaces, paint, window coverings and more. The cottages are utilized by patients from all over rural Northern Nevada who would otherwise have to travel great distances multiple times a week to receive care.

Since its founding in 1989, the William N. Pennington Foundation has demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of rural Nevadans. Their generosity supports individuals like Susan from Lovelock, who shared how access to these cottages impacted her: “My first thought when receiving the treatment plan was ‘I can’t do this. I can’t afford to drive 250 miles a day, five days a week for seven weeks. There was just no way! If I hadn’t been able to stay in the Merriner Cottages, I would have declined treatment.”  

The Merriner Cottages, strategically located right next to the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, provide traveling patients a place to stay during their chemotherapy and radiation treatment. The cottages first opened in 2006. Over the years, small upgrades to the 15 cottages have occurred, but major renovations, including appliances, décor, new furnishings, solar carports, and accessibility upgrades are required. Since 2006, the cottages have provided 28,135 nights of free lodging and saved patients over $2,250,800.00. Patients travel from rural locations such as Yerington, Hawthorne and Bishop and struggle not only with distance and cost, but the physical and emotional drain of traveling during chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

The full cost of the renovation totals over $1.3 million. Carson Tahoe Health employees, annual donors, board members, and HopeFest participants joined the Pennington Foundation in support of the project, contributing $483,825.00 to ensure the sustainability of the cottages. With $300,000 remaining to complete the refurbishment, Carson Tahoe Health is seeking additional donations to ensure the cottages are energy-efficient and updated for future patients. For more information, or to make a gift in support of the cottages, visit carsontahoe.com/give.