Garage Guys come through

Darrell Cole
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Dinner, auction raises $72,000 for cancer fund

The Garage Guys dinner and auction over the weekend was a huge hit, raising $72,000 for the cancer assistance fund.

Members of the Garage Guys present a cheque for more than $72,000 to Cumberland Health Care Foundation managing director Gwen Kerr and cancer navigator Holly Chapman. The money represents the proceeds from Saturday’s Garage Guys dinner and auction in support of the Cancer Assistance Fund.

AMHERST – Amazing. Incredible. Unbelievable.

They are among the three words being used to describe the community response to last weekend’s the Garage Guys dinner and auction that raised more than $72,000 for the Cumberland Health Care Foundation’s Cancer Assistance Fund.

“We’re just so overwhelmed with the support. When we were coming toward the end of the evening we knew it was going incredibly well and we were thinking of who many people we are going to be able to help,” foundation managing director Gwen Kerr said. “We continue to be amazed by the generosity of the community and how people are always willing to support a good cause.”

Created in 2009 to help cancer patients with expenses not covered by insurance, the fund has disbursed about $111,000. Kerr said the money raised by Saturday’s event will go a long way toward making sure they never have to turn down a request for financial reasons.

“It really is a blessing in two ways in that this money will keep the fund going and it also helps spread the word about the fund and how help is only a phone call away,” Kerr said.

The day’s events saw thousands of dollars in products and services auctioned off with the biggest item – a two-car garage valued at approximately $35,000 – going for $36,000. Most of the other items – including driveway paving, a diamond ring and voucher for a new car or lease from Amherst Chrysler/Atlantic Kia – went at or close to their retail value.

Cancer navigator Holly Chapman said some of those who have been helped by the fund were there Saturday to show their support and she said some of those made their own donation to help others facing a similar struggle.

She said the event only serves to bolster her faith in the community and how it’s prepared to respond.

Bobby McLean of the Garage Guys said the group was optimistic the auction would be successful, but even he is impressed with how well it went.

“It was an awesome event. We sure picked the right cause to support. We were happy with the turnout and happy with the bids,” said McLean. “The community came through and certainly rallied behind this cause. “

McLean said the contractors usually do something every two years and he’s not sure if the group will do the same event next time or switch things up a little. He said the group will get together soon to look back at the project and make some suggestions on how to move forward with the next one.

“Every time we do this it gets a little bit bigger,” he said. “We had no idea we would reach $70,000. When we started, we thought we’d maybe raise $50,000. The community deserves so much credit because without their support none of this would have been possible.”

David Carter of K.L. Carter and Son was also impressed with how smoothly things went. One of the reasons for the fundraiser’s success, he said, was the relationship the contractors have with each other.

“It’s nice to be part of something that makes a difference,” Carter said. “We work with each other almost every day and to many of us it was just another project. But everyone is so impressed at what we were a part of here.”



Organizations: Cumberland Health Care Foundation, Cancer Assistance Fund

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