Event raises money to fight breast cancer close to home

Untitled October is no longer just a time for trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving. It’s a time for pink ribbons, celebration for survivors, and hope for those still battling.

Since 1985, October has been known as Breast Cancer Awareness month. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., it is simply “an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.”

So, what’s happening in the Duluth community to raise awareness? Well, at least at Clyde Iron Works, they plan to rock it out. Rockin’ for Hope is a fundraiser being held by a local breast cancer support organization, Circle of Hope, in the event room at Clyde Iron Works on Oct. 19, 2014, from 4-8:30 p.m.

“Our goal for the concert is to raise money for breast cancer treatment medical bills,” said Circle of Hope founder and current organization head Peggy Anderson.

The proceeds will go to the Northern Minnesota/Wisconsin Breast Cancer Treatment Bill Program. More about where the donations are going can be found at: www.circleofhopeduluth.org.

Guests of Rockin’ for Hope are in for quite the experience. The rightfully pink poster boasts a spaghetti feed, silent auction, raffles and live entertainment. Being raffled off are an interesting array of prizes that range from a hot-pink wheelbarrow of wine to a ride for up to 24 people in a pink limo.

If the prizes aren’t enticing enough, the entertainment should be. Kim Storm, Rock-A-Billy Revue, Peter and Jane Aas, and Gina Lee will be performing. Here’s a sample of what Kim Storm can do singing "Keep the Spirit of Hope Alive": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I-hgKdsYsM.

If the last concert fundraiser is any indication of the success of this year’s annual event, things are looking good.

Anderson approached Clyde Iron Works event manager, Melissa Compton, last year to see if they could partner up for the cause. Clyde Iron Works was more than happy to accommodate, going so far as to waive the room fee and give Circle of Hope discounts on food because, as Compton said: “It’s hard to raise money if you have to pay extra fees.”

More than 200 people showed up for the 2013 Rockin’ for Hope event, and they are expecting anywhere from 200-500 this year.

“It’s really great entertainment. We’ve had just positive feedback overall, and we’re really excited to do it again,” Compton said. "It’s always exciting helping out an organization that has such a positive impact."

Circle of Hope was created by Peggy Anderson and two other breast cancer survivors. Anderson is the only founder left at the organization and said they had the idea “when a breast cancer patient in my support group was struggling with paying her breast cancer medical bills. She was getting calls each week as she was dying of cancer. She was our friend and also on our dragon boat team.”

This was their inspiration, and Circle of Hope was born with the mission of helping breast cancer patients pay for their treatment.

While assisting breast cancer patients financially is their primary goal, Circle of Hope is also involved in other things, such as giving chemo caps to cancer centers and getting involved in health fairs. Since its beginning, Circle of Hope has paid more than $120,000 to help patients going through treatment.

This has all been made possible by events such as Rockin’ for Hope.

Not only do you get to eat spaghetti, enjoy the beautifully industrial ambiance of Clyde Iron Works and get the chance to walk away with a wheelbarrow of wine, but attendants of the event also get to be part of a special cause that is near and dear to the hearts of many, and one that truly makes a difference.

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