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Sharing Bucket offers help to families of cancer victims

Friday, July 2, 2010

By Jason E. Silvers

Herald - Tribune

FORT SCOTT, Kan. -- Three new fundraisers are designed to help a local cancer support group and a related nonprofit organization with continued growth.

Members of Care to Share, a cancer support group that formed in 2007, have organized three fundraisers to help raise money for The Sharing Bucket, an organization formed last year to provide emotional and financial assistance to local cancer patients and their families. One fundraiser involves the design and sale of personalized mugs, and two involve promotions being held by two local businesses.

For the Cupcakes for Cancer fundraiser, local potter Bobbi Kemna said she and some of her friends will make personalized and unique mugs for anyone by imprinting names and a short group of words or a message on the outer surface of the mug. Those who purchase mugs will only be able to choose the name or words for the mug and not the color, shape or size of their mug. Some of the mugs will contain different cake varieties, while others will contain candy, plants or other items.

Kemna said she will start with a supply of about 70 mugs, and will take orders for the mugs through Aug. 15, the date when all orders must be received in order to allow for enough time to produce all of the mugs by October. The mugs cost $15 each, and can be ordered by calling Kemna at (620) 224-4583.

All of the proceeds from the sale of the mugs will benefit The Sharing Bucket, a project in which members of Care to Share assist local cancer patients with expenses such as fuel, transportation, food, utility bills, hotel stays, and other items pertaining to treatments. Members also provide emotional support through a number of ways, including a prayer chain, by sending cards and letters, and providing dinners.

"It's all local," Kemna said. "It doesn't go out of town. The money stays right here and I think that's what people like."

Kemna said she is also trying to get members of various local youth groups to help with making the mugs. She added that she sees the fundraiser as a "growing event."

"I wanted to do something to help the group," she said. "I want to give back and do what I can."

The Care to Share group, which consists of cancer survivors and other local volunteers who meet quarterly to share experiences and discuss different topics related to cancer, conducts periodic fundraisers throughout the year -- such as selling T-shirts and candles -- to raise money for use as needed in the community. All money raised by the group stays in Bourbon County and is kept in a local bank account throughout the year. Organizers are also planning to conduct one major fundraiser, such as a concert, each year.

Another of the group's fundraisers involves a promotion at the Jeweled Room, a jewelry store located at 9 N. Main St. All of the proceeds from the sale of items such as homemade blackberry jelly, T-shirts, aprons, candles and other items included in a certain display will go toward The Sharing Bucket.

At Heidrick's True Value, a percentage of the store's sales from July 6 to July 20 will benefit The Sharing Bucket. Customers must alert store management of their wish to make a donation to the organization and a copy of the customer's receipt will be placed into a jar at the register.

At the end of the promotion, all receipts will be tallied and a donation will be made to The Sharing Bucket based on the total receipts.

Care to Share was formed by Teresa Davenport, a local cancer survivor, in her own home in 2007 with the assistance of several friends. In 2009, due to the need for more support, the group expanded to include The Sharing Bucket. The group has since grown and has received support from various businesses, churches, organizations and individuals in the area.

The support group is also seeking to become listed as a nonprofit organization, and a volunteer board of directors was formed last year.

For more information on Care to Share or The Sharing Bucket, contact Davenport at (620) 362-3042, or e-mail her at survivorsrockcancer@hotmail.com.

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