Pennies for patients
Published 8:29 am Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Many Niles residents came out Thursday to support the Berrien County Cancer Service’s effort to raise money through its 25th annual Pennies for Patients fundraiser at the Masonic Temple in downtown Niles.
The collection event was held in other communities around the county as well.
So far, more than $16,400 has been collected. However, people can still donate through June 15. Martin’s Supermarket in Niles has collection jars through the end of the month.
The BCCS is a non-profit 501c3 corporation that provides skilled oncology nursing care at no cost for people of Berrien County who have a cancer diagnosis. The BCCS also has a large medical and comfort/nutritional support closet as well as high quality wigs, prostheses and other items for women with cancer at no cost.
This is only possible through community support.
The BCCS is funded by United Way of Southwest Michigan, donations, memorials and the agency’s own signature fundraisers such as Pennies for Patients. Last year, $18,388.63 was collected and, in 25 years of collection, they have raised over $422,800.
The history of the BCCS begins with a Niles native Olove Colcord, a nurse who went door to door to educate people about cancer in the mid 1940s. A group of business people noted her work and decided to ask the United Way to support her efforts. In 1948, the agency was officially launched.
Organizers said they are grateful to United Way of Southwest Michigan for helping them since 1948 and the Martin’s Supermarkets for allowing their Niles store, for the first time, to join in efforts to raise funds for BCCS patients.