On Aug 23, 1987 the Vernon County Cancer Relief Fund was established through the efforts of Jody Renwick and financial assistance from the Finis M. Moss Charitable Trust.
Last Friday night more than 300 dedicated volunteers and supporters of the Vernon County Relief Fund attend a fund raising dinner at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles lodge to raise money to help the fund help local people and to honor the work of Jody Renwick to develop the fund.
Carol Branham said during a dedication speech that Jody was looking down from haven with a big smile on her face as she watched the fund raising event.
Mike Turnbull, Vernon County Cancer Relief president prepared a great meal featuring Chateaubriand. His grandmother Dot Turnbull was "the" caterer for a number of years in this area. Many remember the good job she did and the good meals she served. Mike learned well from his grandmother. I understand that Marie McCullough helped Mike in the food preparation and that the desert was prepared by Susan Barrett (yum yum, even a large sample for a diabetic).
Contributing much toward the success of the event were 12 table sponsors who paid $500 each. There were also other sponsors who helped with the sponsorship.
The total amount raised was not available at the time of writing this column, however it will be a sizable amount, all of which will go for a good cause. It will provide help to several people in Vernon County.
Ron Schulze donated his services as auctioneer for the evening and raised more than $1,300, selling such items as a piece of stained glass created and donated by Ron Branham.
Dr. Bill Turner won the traveling trophy among the servers for receiving the most tips. The word is that he is still in the process of getting more tips.
The idea for the fund raising event came about within the last month. The board worked together to pull off the event.
This is just one of many events held in the area to let area residents pitch in an help a good cause. We decided at the last minute to attend this event and I am glad that we had the opportunity to see the dedication and compassion that so many people for this project.
This fund raiser was another example of people helping people-neighbors helping neighbors. All of the money raised by this event goes to the Vernon County Relief Fund, which helps Vernon County residents when they need it. The money remains in Vernon County to help Vernon County residents. This policy, which is set locally, has remained the same for the 21 years the Relief Fund has been existence.
Many people fear this disease, which affects people regardless of their income. Almost everyone know someone who has been effected by the big "C". My dad and my brother, as well as an uncle and aunts died from cancer. I have friends who have died from cancer and know others who are currently battling this disease, plus I know several cancer survivors.
,These days having cancer is not necessarily a death sentence, as approximately 50 percent will survive the disease.
In addition to the emotional cost cancer heaps on its victims, there is frequently an economic hardship as well. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately two thirds of the cost having cancer is not covered by medical insurance. The insurance does not pay for things like the deductible, co-insurance, transportation, lodging as well as many other things. This all adds up to a major out-of-pocket expense for the victims and their families. Family members of victims have told me that the cost of lodging while receiving treatment can add to a major expense. Adequate financial resources to cover these expenses will help reduce the emotional costs.
Many cancer patients lack adequate financial resources and this is where Vernon County Cancer Relief can provide assistance to our neighbors. Vernon County residents in cancer treatment are provided assistance through gas and food vouchers, utility assistance and other needs on an individual basis.
Last year there was about $1,200 spent for helping cancer patients and families in Vernon County. During the second quarter of this year assistance was given to 33. The high cost of gasoline has resulted in a higher need for funds.
Carol Branham, board advisor, said that the fund raising event will impact a number of families in Vernon County. "That is why we are doing it."
She predicts that they will continue to have fun in the future. The event increases awareness for the relief program.
"It is heart warming to see community support come out of it," Branham said.
An event of this type just doesn't happen without a great amount of organization, effort and support. Each one helping to make this event a big success by their volunteer efforts or support in another manner deserves a bouquet of four leaf clovers.