Today we’d like to take a moment to congratulate the St. John Cancer Fund on its fifth anniversary, which happened on Saturday, July 15th. For the past five years, this organization has provided invaluable services and funds to the residents of St. John. A huge thank you for that.
Formed in July 2012, the St. John Cancer Fund’s mission is to provide support, both financial and personal, for St. Johnians battling cancer. The St. John Cancer Fund aims to supplement all of the existing support avenues available to St. John residents. The fund doesn’t restrict how the funds are utilized by the patient, but rather serves as a support in their journey.
The Fund was formed by a group of St. John residents who wanted complete financial transparency of monies raised as well as clarity of financial assistance to patients. The primary distribution of funds raised by St. John and used for St. Johnians. Seventy-five percent of our residents are small business owners or independent contractors. Most do not have access to corporate or government-offered insurance coverage, and individual health insurance policies are expensive and restrictive (as we discussed in this story back in May). The St. John Cancer Fund aims to invest in the health of the community by assisting with both palliative care and preventive screenings.
The St. John Cancer Fund is the beneficiary of multiple events over the course of the year. Its flagship fundraising event is Light Up The Night, an 18 hour walk at Winston Wells ball field during which participating teams raise money for the Fund.
Many teams also choose to hold fundraising events at other times of the year – these include:
- Woody’s Block Party – The annual Block Party spearheaded by Woody’s Seafood Saloon is a mainstay of the Fund’s fundraising efforts. Live music, lots of food and drink, and a fun community atmosphere make this a perennially popular event! This year’s event is scheduled for Oct. 6th, 2017.
- The ‘Stache Bash – The ‘Stache Bash was a new addition in 2016, but we all look forward to Drink bringing it back again this year! Celebrating “Movember” with a facial hair fashion show was fun for everyone and raised $5000 in its first year. Amazing.
- The Coral Bay Open is another popular annual fundraiser. Clever and creative hole arrangements mean this is always a challenging, fun day.
The St. John Cancer Fund is run by a board of local volunteers, many of whom have been involved since the very beginning. The board consists of Mary Bartolucci, Cynthia Smith, Adonis Morton, Tim Hanley, Clarence Stephenson, and Hank Slodden. Pam Gaffin is the Fund’s accountant, and Crissy Cook is the co-chair for Light Up The Night 2018.
Here are a few of the board members thoughts…
“I am amazed at the amount of support and growth this fund has seen over the years. The people, the driving force, behind the St. John Cancer Fund, are the ones who saw a need in the community of St John and thankfully found a way to assist with that need. With that said, the people that make up Love City, whether it be natural born residents, permanent transplants, snow birds, seasonal workers, or tourists & vistors… these are truly the people who continuously support this cause, and always go above and beyond (financially) to make sure those in need are taken care of. Thank you to everyone involved for their hard work, and here’s to many more years of fundraising for a cause that truly touches each and every one of us.” – Tim Hanley
“My thoughts on St John Cancer Fund… giving back, caring, St John love, an investment that always pays great, qualitative dividends, a daily recalibration allowing me to realize how blessed & lucky I am to be healthy… a responsibility to serve, a duty that my mother would expect from me. St John Cancer Fund’s team and a cast of characters that all have large hearts and helping hands. From the first meeting, held five years ago, to the present, compassion and desire has been unwavering and always brings tears to my eyes! Playing well with others, and caring for others… so important, because cancer robs the young and the old alike of their dreams.” – Hank Slodden
“I joined the Fund shortly after the first Light Up The Night event. It’s been truly a blessing to be part of this amazing group of angels. I am proud to be a part of this team. I have seen the positive impact that this Fund has had within our community. As the Fund continues to grow I pray for all the members, supporters, and beneficiaries.” – Clarence Stephenson
And for some staff members over at The Beach Bar, their connection is personal.
“When (Mikey) got sick, we thought, we’ve always done this, but now it’s so personal, let’s kick it up – that year we did the t-shirts and really did it for Mikey. We raised around $8K and that really blew our minds, I think our original target was $2… every year after we just kind of go bigger.
It was important to us, just making sure that Mikey’s legacy didn’t die, that his name didn’t go away, and to make sure that other people’s experience with cancer was eased. It’s a financially devastating disease, and our experience was shaped by watching Mikey go through it and knowing that you can’t do much about it, but doing what you can anyway,
We’ve since had other staff members deal with their own struggles with cancer, and its been great to have the Fund help them out and get them what they need. Seeing the effects of the Fund, knowing people personally who’ve had their lives changed, whether it’s a small or large financial need, that’s been so important. And it’s nice to know that with each payout, everyone contributes, every donor has a little part of that.” -Adam Dow
To learn more about the St. John Cancer Fund, please visit its website at www.stjohncancerfund.org