The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Fundraisers Produce Near $40,000 to Assist Cancer Fight

Joy Swearingen, Quill Correspondent

Hancock County Fights Cancer presented checks totaling $39,200 from proceeds of this year's team fundraising events and annual block party.

HCFC members presented a check for $15,680 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for cancer research, and then a second check for $23,520 to HUGS of Hancock County, the local cancer support group.

At the group's annual meeting held in August, event chairman, Kris Pilkington, reported that total receipts from team events was $26,256.

More funds were raised with the car show, community sponsors, township drives and other activities during the annual Block Party, held June 5 on the courthouse square in Carthage. A $5,000 donation was received from the Strawberry Strut committee.

Money donated up through July 15 was included in the 2021 total. The report showed $41,549 was raised with $2,305 in expenses, or less than 1 percent of total funds raised.

The entire balance was given to the two groups, with 60 percent going to HUGS and 40 percent going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for research.

HUGS is a not-for-profit organization that gives financial and emotional support to cancer patients from Hancock County.

"The financial support may include $200 gas cards, $200 pharmacy and $200 gift cards," explained HUGS treasurer Melita Finney, after accepting the check.

"Additional assistance is available if needed. HUGS relies solely on memorials and donations to fund these services.

"Every dollar received stays in Hancock County to be used here," Finney said.

"Our board has a special task of being good stewards of all the money donated to HUGS.

"We were able to help 36 people, some who were helped several times this past year. Our financial support to them was $14,777.33."

The gift to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was presented to Molly Shepherdson, market director for field operations in Illinois and Iowa for St. Jude. Families of children treated at St. Jude are never asked to pay any cost not covered by their insurance.

In addition, constant research at the hospital complex in Memphis, Tennessee, creates new procedures and treatments for childhood illnesses. These findings are shared throughout the United States and the world.

At the annual meeting, next year's HCFC block party was set for June 4, 2022. (Mark your calendars). The board voted to continue giving 60 percent of funds raised to HUGS, and 40 percent to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

Hancock County Fights Cancer Board and officers for 2022 were elected, with:

Cynthia Stewart–president,
Kris Pilkington–vice-president,
Ena Schwartz–treasurer, and
Annette Heinecke–secretary.

Other board members are:

Diane Adkisson,
Neva Eads,
Camie Pilkington,
Christine Roberts,
Joy Swearingen,
Kim Taylor,
Rachel Ward,
Jo Webster and
Greta Wetzel.

Tess Swearingen, childhood cancer survivor and Mollie Shepherdson of St. Jude, accept a $15,680 donation from Joy Swearingen, HCFC board member.

The group of volunteers on the left are Hancock County Fight Cancer (HCFC) members giving a generous check of $23,520 to the very appreciative HUGS board members on the right side. HUGS is a not-for-profit organization that gives financial and emotional support to cancer patients from Hancock County.