Tailgate For Cancer Raises $1 million

Joint Township District Memorial Hospital's Diagnostic Department accepted a donation of $10,000 from Tailgate for Cancer during the tailgate's banquet Friday. Linda Haines (left) presented the donation on behalf of the hospital.
EL Correspondent

The totals are in and St. Marys Tailgate for Cancer raised $1,076,360, meeting their $1 million goal. 

The Tailgate for Cancer held their yearly banquet on Friday to recognize their committee, donors and the many donees. The tailgate also celebrated their 10 year anniversary. 

President Traci Lauth opened the banquet thanking the community for their efforts.

“We are very pleased to announce that we hit our goal,” Lauth said. “We’ve reached one million dollars this year.”

St. Marys Mayor Pat McGowan also gave his respects toward Tailgate for Cancer and how it affects the community. 

“The city of St. Marys is very proud to participate year in and year out in the Tailgate for Cancer,” McGowan said. “The city is always ready to participate in the tailgate and we are ready to continue the process.” 

Guest Speaker Mindy Pond presented her story and experience through being diagnosed with cancer. She paid tribute and gave thanks to many of the doctors and staff who helped her through her journey at the Ohio State University James Cancer Research Center. 

“Today marks my one year anniversary of my diagnosis,” Pond said. “I was meant to be here today.”

Pond reached out to Lauth after seeing her efforts with St. Marys Tailgate for Cancer and through her, she was able to made contact with the staff at The James.

“The James has just made everything really easy for me,” Pond said. “This community is also really awesome.”

After being diagnosed with breast cancer one-year ago, Pond has undergone many surgeries including a bilateral mastectomy. 

“My 10 year plan is long but it’ll be worth it and I will win,” she said. 

With the money raised from many different fundraisers and events, St. Marys Tailgate for Cancer finds many local cancer centers to donate funds to. Treasurer Tami Sanford presented the donation checks to five of those organizations. 

“It started as a small little dream and in 10 years we’ve raised a million dollars,” Sanford said.

Two $20,000 donations were given to the Cancer Association  of Auglaize County and Cancer Association of Mercer County, who volunteer their time and work to help those battling all forms of cancer in their county. The newest donee added to the list was the Grand Lake Health Diagnostics with $10,000. 

The Grand Lake Health System Women’s Imaging Center purchased a new 3D mammography machine last year that will better detect early stages of breast cancer.

“We’ve decided to make a contribution to that purchase,” Sanford said.

“3D mammography was something that we have needed in this hospital,” said JTDMH Foundation Executive Director Linda Haines. “We are grateful.”

Additionally, a $15,000 donation was given to Auglaize County Board for Crippled Children and Adults. 

The final donation was given to The James. The donation equaled $133,300. 

“Thank you everyone for all your efforts,” said Director of Community Partners Ashley Clark said. “One day we will find a cure.”

The next St. Marys Tailgate for Cancer event will be held on Sept.14.