Tailgate Raises $68K

ST. MARYS — This year’s St. Marys Tailgate for Cancer raised more than $68,000 for cancer research and area cancer organizations.

The St. Marys Tailgate for Cancer Committee announced Thursday night that the third annual event, held Oct. 14 and 15, netted $36,000 for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research, $2,500 to the ENT Department at Ohio State University James Hospital, $10,000 to the Cancer Association of Auglaize County, $10,000 to the Cancer Association of Mercer County and $10,000 to the Auglaize County Crippled Children and Adults. Tailgate for Cancer Committee Member Traci Lauth said the committee was pleased with the turnout for the event.

“We’re really happy that the community pulled together with everything going on with the economy and unemployment,” she said. “It shows that we have  a caring community.”

Lauth noted this year’s event brought in a significant amount more than last year.

“Last year we were able to give each cancer association $2,000, and this year we gave $10,000,” Lauth said. “Each year we want to be able to give more.”

She attributed the success of this year’s event to the community support it has received.

“Now the community knows what the tailgate is all about,” Lauth said, noting that the first two years the community was learning about the event.

Lauth also noted the 5K and Pink Out added to this year’s lineup also drew more people to the event.

“We hope that every year it can get bigger and better,” she said, adding that the committee is planning to hold the 5K and Pink Out again next year.

This year’s event featured live entertainment, Buckeye music and a variety  of auctions and raffles. A trip for two on the 2012 Buckeye Cruise for Cancer was also given away as the Grand Door Prize, which was presented to the winner Thursday night. The annual cruise takes Buckeye fans on a four-day trip to the Caribbean with a slew of Buckeye stars. The trip was organized by St. Marys native Lisa Cisco, who started Buckeye Cruise for Cancer six years ago.

“I had this dream of putting the cruise together six years ago,” Cisco said. “I knew that I wanted to do it for Stefanie Spielman.”

Cisco came up with the idea to book a cruise ship to fill with Buckeye fans and athletes to partake in a warm weather getaway from the winter and to help raise money for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

“I knew that Buckeye nation was strong and it was a good way to tie it all together,” Cisco said.

She noted that last year, more than $500,000 was raised and said she hopes to raise more this year.

“We hope to shatter last year’s program,” Cisco said.

Cisco said there are rooms available for the 2012 Buckeye Cruise for Cancer, which will be held Feb. 23-27, 2012, with rooms starting at $599 per person. For more information on the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer, call Cisco at 614-792-6204 or visit BuckeyeCruise.com.

Next year’s St. Marys Tailgate for Cancer will be held Sept. 28 and 29, when Ohio State takes on Michigan State.

For more information on the Tailgate for Cancer, visit TailgateForCancer.com.