Lee Memorial Foundation, Honor Credit Union raise funds for Tree of Love

DOWAGIAC — For the month of October, the staff at Honor Credit Union will be decked out in pink in support of local women.

To kick off the Lee Memorial Foundation’s Tree of Love campaign, Honor Credit Union donated $500 to the cause last week. In addition, Honor Credit Union will serve as a donation site for the Tree of Love. From now through Nov. 30, visitors to Honor Credit Union can donate to the campaign. Donors will receive a pair of pink sunglasses for donations $5 or more and a pink bag for donations of $25 or more.

The campaign will culminate with a tree lighting ceremony, which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 28, at Farr Park outside the hospital. This year, the campaign has a goal to raise $10,000.

“We are very grateful that Honor is doing this, and without our community partners, this wouldn’t be possible,” said Vice Chair of the Lee Memorial Foundation Board of Directors Jeremy Truitt. “This is all for a very noble cause and the money raised goes toward prevention and early diagnosis for breast cancer.”

The campaign is being hosted to support Lee Memorial Foundation’s Tree of Love campaign, an annual charity drive that raises money to pay for mammograms for local uninsured or underinsured women.

“The best way to fight cancer is to catch it early,” Truitt said. “This program is for the women who don’t have the resources to be able to afford the things that would allow them to do that early screening.”

Janie Reifenberg, manager of Honor’s Dowagiac location, said that giving back to the community is part of the credit union’s mission, which is why the credit union has jumped at the chance to donate to the Tree of Love campaign in recent years.

“We love to support our community,” she said. “And this goes to helping protect women from breast cancer. Anytime that sucky word ‘cancer’ is there, we are all about that fight.”

Reifenberg added that Dowagiac is blessed to have its hospital and foundation that offers services like the Tree of Love.

“Anything we can do to support the hospital and help women get mammograms is a perfect partnership for us at Honor,” she said.

Outside of Honor Credit Union, people can donate directly to Tree of Love or participate in the annual “Pink Out” game Friday. The campaign will host a “Pink Out” football game Friday, Oct. 12, at the Dowagiac home field. Those wearing pink can enter the game for a $1 donation, and the school district will match the money raised. For the game, specialty pink T-shirts are being made. The T-shirts are $9, and $2 from every T-shirt will go to the Tree of Love. The T-shirts can be ordered at D & R Sports, 238 S. Front St., Dowagiac.

Truitt said he hopes the community will step up during the campaign to support local women.

“Almost everyone has been affected or knows someone that has been affected by cancer,” he said. “This way, we can help prevent breast cancer from affecting someone else.”

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