© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Don Smith (left), Robert Bird and Mitch Estabrooks watch as Curt Speight brings the stone into the house during the fifth annual Curling Challenge fundraiser between the Good Looking Guys and the Better Looking Guys last Friday night at the Amherst Curling Club. Money raised at this year’s event goes to the Cumberland Health Care Foundation's Cancer Assistance Fund.
AMHERST – Eight men raised more than $14,000 for local cancer assistance here Friday and looked good doing it.
The fundraiser, featuring the Good Lookin’ Guys versus the Better Lookin’ Guys at the Amherst Curling Club, is an annual event that the two teams organize to raise money for local charity, choosing a different beneficiary each year.
“We’ve been doing this for five years. The first year the funds went to Autumn House, the second to special Olympics, next Cumberland County Palliative Care and last year the money went to Cumberland Health Authority Palliative Care,” Good Lookin’ Guys team member Robert Bird said.
This year’s recipients are pleased by the generosity.
“It’s always surprising and a pleasure that people can be that generous. Cancer touches people in different ways and this money will help fulfill patients needs in ways such as transportation to and from hospital, medical supplies and nutritional requirements,” said Joe Gouthier, managing director of Cumberland Health Care Foundation.
The cancer assistance fund has been running since June 2009, and to date has helped nearly 20 cancer patients at a cost of $8,200.
“When the program first began we were getting one or two requests a month now that the fund has been set up for awhile, people are starting to become aware that the program exists and we are around six requests a month,” Gouthier said.
Gouthier explained the program is designed to help people that don’t qualify for any other assistance but are at an income level that would require financial assistance to ensure having access to treatments.
The Cumberland Health Care Foundation is responsible for the collection and receipting of all donations to the fund.
“All cancer funding requests are then reviewed by the Foundation’s Cancer Assistance Review Committee which is composed of volunteer representatives from the Foundation’s Board of Directors, from CHA Continuing Care, and other medical professionals of the Cumberland Health Authority,” Gouthier said.
For their part, the curling are just happy to have been a part of it.
“We challenge each other to a grudge match and it’s for a good cause and to make it better the Good Lookin’ Guys prevailed this year over the Better Lookin’ Guys with a final score of 7-5,” Bird said.
“The final tally will be more than the $14,000 it generally takes about a week to tally everything up,” Bird said.
“It was a terrific event and $14,000 plus is an incredible amount of money to come from a small community for such a purpose,” said Ann Keddy, director of public relations Cumberland Health Authority.