Dowagiac students donate $1,142 to Cass County Cancer Service

Published 4:57 pm Monday, June 13, 2022

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DOWAGIAC — A local organization called, and local students responded. 

Students at Dowagiac Union High School donated $1142.62 to Cass County Cancer Services after a coin drive hosted by the school’s National Honor Society.  

“I had the pleasure of meeting with [DUHS teacher Melissa] Stanger early in April to talk with the kids about the Cass County Cancer Service,” said Maxine Ownby, president of the Cass County Cancer Service. “They wanted to help in some way.” 

On May 24, Ownby met with Stanger and members of the NHS and they presented her with the check.  

“I was very excited,” Ownby said. “That was amazing in just a 3 week or so span.” 

A volunteer-run organization, CCCS offers assistance in the form of gas cards for patients and helps with paying utility bills to prevent the service from ending or just emotional support. The service also provides hospital equipment including beds, wheelchairs, walkers and more. The only qualification for cancer patients to receive assistance from the service is they must live in Cass County. Each patient helped by Cass County Cancer Service receives $600 a year for three years. 

The organization serves more than 160 patients in the county, according to Ownby.  

“The Cancer Service is thankful for all those who donate to our cause,” said Ownby, whose organization has received donations from The Cass County Tractor Pullers, The Dowagiac Moose Riders, Four Lakes Golf in Edwardsburg, Curt Rohdy/Ed’s Open Header, Imperial Furniture and more. “Without them and all the families that send in regular donations, we wouldn’t be able to help the 180 plus cancer patients we are now. We truly do appreciate all our givers.” 

Ownby said they are always looking for younger members like the DUHS students to join the organization. 

“We are all getting older and wanting to step aside for the younger generation to take this over,” she said. “We definitely do not want this to fold up. We are doing a lot of good in our community.” 

Meetings are held at The Dowagiac Elks Club on the second Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m.