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Program eyes wider scope

Cares for Cancer is looking to expand its fundraising - and its reach - this year. Organizers of the annual Hankinson, N.D., event to benefit Riveredge Hospice hope to raise $20,000 this year - $5,000 more than last year. They also want to turn t...

Andrea Stein shaves the head of Tom Mauer
Andrea Stein shaves the head of Tom Mauer during the 2010 Cares for Cancer benefit. Photo courtesy of the Hankinson (N.D.) News-Monitor

Cares for Cancer is looking to expand its fundraising - and its reach - this year.

Organizers of the annual Hankinson, N.D., event to benefit Riveredge Hospice hope to raise $20,000 this year - $5,000 more than last year.

They also want to turn the ad-hoc group into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, able to expand their giving from the hospice to helping area residents deal with a range of bills tied to major medical care, "whether it's for motels, gas or other medical expenses," said Tara Steffens, a co-chairwoman for Cares for Cancer.

"It would be nice to be able to give to people from the area community and surrounding communities," she said.

In the past four years, Cares for Cancer has raised $80,000 to help pay bills for care by the Breckenridge, Minn.-based Riveredge, Steffens said.

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This year's event will be held from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Hankinson American Legion Club, 109 1st St. SW, Steffens said.

Riveredge Director Tammi Althoff said the donations help provide needed medical equipment and to pay bills for patients whose insurance or other medical benefits fail to cover the full cost of end-of-life care.

Last year, Riveredge admitted 83 people to hospice care, Althoff said. That care is provided by nurses, social workers, counselors and home health aides who assist families in caring for their loved ones in homes or at skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes, she said.

"To see a local organization make that kind of contribution on a continual basis is so meaningful for us. I can't say enough about that group. They put an immense amount of hours into that," Althoff said.

"It's kind of humbling to have a community come together to that extent," Althoff said.

This year's benefit will include raffles, games and auctions, as well as a meal, said Steffens, who is part of a core group of about 14 who've kept the fundraiser going over the years.

Last year's meal served 415 people, she said.

Cares for Cancer has also gotten significant help from area businesses, and the Hankinson High School Student Council, which helped raise more than $2,000 last year, Steffens said.

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Donations to "Cares for Cancer," or memorials for loved ones who have lost their lives to cancer, can be sent to: Lincoln State Bank, c/o "Cares for Cancer," Hankinson, ND 58041.

People interested in volunteering or donating auction items or baked goods can contact Steffens at tjsteffens04@yahoo.com or call (701) 899-0216.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

Related Topics: AGRICULTURE
Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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