Photo by Kaycee Anderson
Photo by Kaycee Anderson
Sandra Meyer, center, presents a check from the Painting Princesses.
One group of cancer survivors donated a hefty $5,000 recently to help other cancer victims pay expenses that are not covered by insurance.
The donation from the Painting Princesses -- women survivors who paint watercolors and give support to each other at weekly get-togethers -- came June 2 during the Gift of Hope’s fifth annual fundraiser in the big barn at Scouts Rest Ranch.
Besides that generous donation, a little more than $8,000 was raised that night for the Gift of Hope, vice president Yvonne Hedgecock told the Bulletin Monday. It is the organization’s only fund-raiser each year.
Gifts of Hope helps buy gas for travel to and from treatments, as well as a wide variety of things to ease the financial burden on patients and families. The pay to build ramps on porches, paint walls, bake birthday cakes and walk dogs. They even paid the car insurance for a man who needed to travel to Denver to be treated.
The evening began with music by Gary Phipps, Manyard Zip, Lou Kraus and Janet King.
Nebraskaland National Bank donated and cooked prime rib and hot dogs. Cohagens donated the baked potatoes and Bittersweet Baker in Ogallala donated desserts.
After dinner and before the live auction started, the Princesses presented a check for $5,050.75, half the money they raised in May at a purse auction/fundraiser.
Then the live auction began, with Wendel Brott of Gothenburg calling for bids. Nearly 60 items were offered, including an electric guitar donated by Kittles Music and gift certificates from T.O. Haas. The auction began with two dozen cinnamon rolls, which brought $50.
Brott kept things lively and entertaining as he called for bids. Wives bid against husbands and Brott encouraging the competitive camaraderie. He sold golf trips, meat packages, jewelry, wine baskets and a trip to Branson, Mo.
The live auction generated $4,465.
Gifts of Hope helps buy gas for travel to and from treatments, as well as a wide variety of things to ease the financial burden on patients and families. They build ramps on porches, paint walls, bake birthday cakes and walk dogs. They even bought car insurance for a man who needed to travel to Denver to be treated.
Sharon Ott, founding member and current secretary, said the organization helps 8-10 people a month, giving an average of $1,500 a month. The gifts have helped more than 500 people since 2001.
Carolyn Fromme, a survivor, told her story to the Bulletin.
Fromme was diagnosed with ovarian and uterine cancer in May 2011. She doesn’t know how the Gift of Hope got her name but she recalled getting a call on a Monday. By the next Wednesday, the organization started helping – paying for gas to go to Omaha for surgery and treatment, helping with the rent and the cost of medications.
Fromme has three children -- a daughter in Washington and a son and daughter in North Platte. She said the support of her children and the Gift of Hope pulled her through. She has officially been cancer free for three weeks. She will drive to Omaha every three months to make sure.
Fromme gave something back Saturday. She made the cinnamon rolls that were auctioned.
The organization has a long-term goal to raise $150,000 to build a house near the Callahan Cancer Center where patients can stay during treatment at the center. Nearly two-thirds of the money for the house is in the bank, Ott said.
To arrange for Gifts of Hope, Ott said the Human Resources department at Great Plains Medical Center, as well friends and family, recommend the names of cancer victims and applicants fill out a simple questionnaire.