Press-Republican

Lifestyles

April 2, 2013

Local group raising funds to help cancer patients

PLATTSBURGH — A regional organization dedicated to helping people meet financial needs while battling cancer continues to grow and seek community support.

The North Country Cancer Fund, founded in 2008, raises money through a series of fundraisers each year and then turns that money into a prayer answered for families who face financial obstacles while a loved one undergoes treatment for cancer.

“It’s a totally volunteer organization,” said Mike Dodds, one of about a dozen people who put in time as active volunteers for the Cancer Fund. “We raise money for local families (in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties) to pay non-medical bills.”

GRANTS TO FAMILIES

Over the past five years, the Cancer Fund has doled out around $100,000 to more than 140 families across the region, Dodds noted.

Funds have been used to help families pay their utility bills if they’ve fallen behind or to help with traveling expenses associated with cancer treatment. The fund recently helped a family pay overdue back taxes so the family would not lose its house, he added.

“The minimum amount we typically pay out is $500, unless a family asks for less,” he said. “We’ve also given as much as $1,500.”

FUNDRAISERS

Dodds, who is from Cadyville, is an avid golfer and first became involved with the Cancer Fund to help support some of the organization’s more popular fundraisers, a series of golf tournaments. He also felt a need to help because cancer has taken a loved one from his family.

The founding members of the Cancer Fund were brought together in 2008 when they all felt that same need as family members battled cancer diagnoses, he said. Since then, the non-profit group has continued to expand opportunities for cancer victims and their families.

Fundraisers include golf tourneys in Clinton and Essex counties. The Cancer Fund also hopes to soon establish a tourney in Franklin County, Dodds noted.

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