The Sayre House of Hope, which provides a place to stay for families of patients at Guthrie's Sayre campus, received a financial boost Wednesday from a fundraising golf tournament.

The third annual "Todd and Chuck Challenge" - put on by Choice Radio and named for its co-owners, Todd Bowers and Chuck Carver - raised $4,600 for the not-for-profit house. Bowers and Carver presented the donation at the House of Hope's open house Wednesday.

The idea to begin the House of Hope stemmed from a group of employees who witnessed families struggling to find a place to stay while their loved ones received treatment at the Sayre campus, said Dr. Joseph Scopelliti, Guthrie president and CEO.

"It's the hearts of a lot of good people that support this organization," he said.

Bowers serves on the house's board of directors and was a Guthrie employee when the idea for the Sayre House of Hope came about. When he and Carver decided to do a summer charity event, Bowers immediately thought to benefit the house, he said.

The house, located on Chemung Street, has hosted over 1,200 families in its five years, said Elizabeth Hibbard, who has served as the house's resident manager since it opened in Feb. 2007.

Beyond her office hours, Hibbard lives in an apartment on the house's second floor and is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, save a rare vacation. "This is my life," she said.

The Sayre House of Hope is "a second home" to the families who stay there, providing comforts during a stressful time, Hibbard said. Without the house's services, families may have to sleep in the hospital's lobby, in a vehicle or accrue the expenses of staying in a hotel, she said.

Hibbard, with the help of volunteers, checks guests in and out, washes the house's linens and other laundry, performs minor housekeeping and maintains records. She's also someone to talk to when guests need support.

Guests stay anywhere from one night to 18 weeks at the house, coming from every state except Alaska and from as far away as Israel, Hibbard said. The families come with all kinds of patients, from those in Robert Packer Hospital's trauma unit to those receiving outpatient long-term care. Guests come from all walks of life and income levels, she said.

Guest families often share meals together, support one another and trade stories. "This is a home," Hibbard said. "This is another kind of family."

The house has six guest bedrooms, each with a private bathroom, as well as a living room, fully equipped kitchen, laundry facility and library area. Five of the six bedrooms were occupied Wednesday, and the house usually runs between two-thirds occupied and full, Hibbard said.

The backyard has hosted gardens planted by volunteers from Project GROW for the first time this year, a project Hibbard said will continue. Families enjoy the fresh vegetables planted there, she said. The house is also walking distance from Guthrie's Sayre campus, she said, although shuttle service is available.

The house impacts not only the families that stay there, but the patients receiving treatment and extended family members and friends, Hibbard said. It's evident in the number of thank-you notes the house receives, all of which Hibbard keeps in a scrapbook.

The house "really has a big impact on folks," she said. "It's nice to know we have touched so many lives."

The Sayre House of Hope is always accepting volunteers, financial donations, non-perishable food items, paper products and toiletries to serve its guests. Hibbard also gives talks to community groups about the house, she said.

For more information on the Sayre House of Hope, contact Hibbard at (570) 887-6615 or Hibbard_elizabeth@guthrie.org.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: arenko@thedailyreview.com.