Cass County Cancer Service to host paddle auction, walk

UNION — Cass County residents better shine up their quarters, as a quarter paddle auction is returning to support area cancer patients.

The Cass County Cancer Service is hosting is its annual quarter paddle auction Sept. 19 at the Cass County Conservation Club, 13710 US-12, Union. The auction will take place from 2 to 5 p.m., with check-in beginning at 1 p.m. Bidding paddles cost $5, and attendees can bring quarters to bid on available items.

“If someone has been touched in any way by cancer, they can show their support for their family or friends [by supporting this event],” said Cass County Cancer Service President Maxine Ownby. “All of our money stays and helps this community.”

Cass County Cancer Service is a volunteer-run organization that provides support for those undergoing cancer treatment. That support comes in many forms, from helping patients pay for gas to get them to and from treatments to rides to doctor’s appointments, assistance with utility payments and more. All money donated to the organization supports Cass County cancer patients. The organization currently supports between 170 and 180 patients, who each receive $600 a year for three years from the organization.

For the paddle auction, attendees purchase a paddle for $5, which is designated a number. Items are then put up for auction and assigned a bet amount based on the value of each item. Items worth $10 to $24 cost one quarter, items worth $25 to $49 cost two quarters, and items worth $50 to $74 cost three quarters. Every person with a paddle can then wager on an auction item based on its designed value. Each bidder is entered into a drawing for the item betted on.

Ownby said there would be an auction item to appeal to everyone, including car items, bird feeders, cooking items, clothing, gift cards and more.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Ownby said. “We have so much stuff to auction off.”

The same day, also at the Cass County Conservation Club, Cass County Cancer Service will host its annual People Who Care Walk, beginning at 9 a.m. Free to participate in, those who take part in the walk can take pledges to raise money for Cass County Cancer Service. All funds raised from the walk will help area cancer patients pay bills, such as utilities.

Between the two events, Ownby is hoping to raise at least $6,000.

Due to COVID-19, many of Cass County Cancer Service’s usual fundraisers have been canceled. Initially, Ownby and her staff were concerned the cancelations would affect the organization’s ability to provide services to area cancer patients. However, Ownby said she had been moved by the community’s support of Cass County Cancer Service’s mission in the past few weeks.

Two previous fundraisers, a golf outing in Edwardsburg and a tractor ride in Cassopolis, drew more support than Ownby could have imagined.

“Initially, we had some volunteers worried we wouldn’t be able to get the help we need,” Ownby said. “I’ve told them not to worry because it’s clear we have giving people in this community. It’s wonderful, and I just want to thank everyone.”

Ownby hopes the community will turn out to support the walk and paddle auction on Sept. 19 the same way people turned out for the organization’s previous fundraisers.

“I hope to see lots of people there,” she said.

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