Today I want to start the New Year by thanking everyone who has been a part of what the Wyoming Foundation for Cancer Care is doing in Wyoming! This past year has been exciting and come with many changes. It has been a year of growth for us, as will the next year. Since we received our official 501(c)3 letter of exemption separate from the eplus Cancer Care Foundation, we are looking towards 2019 with plans for expanding our reach throughout Wyoming.
I was hired this summer, as the first executive director of the Foundation and we became more organized as a board as we started taking the Foundation in our own direction. In 2019 we plan to hold our first fundraisers outside of Casper, and meet with social workers in many cancer clinics across the state to expand the number of patients who are able to take advantage of our services.
This January the Foundation held the Country for Cancer concert. John Michael Montgomery performed at the Events Center. Sponsors were very generous and the event was a lot of fun for everyone involved. In 2019 we want to hold a similar event in the summer.
In July, we participated in the parade and sold Tough Enough to Wear Pink gear all week at the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo again. This event made $2000 and allowed us opportunity to hand out brochures and advertise Rocky Mountain Oncology’s free cancer screenings on CWFR pink day. We also made $800 in a community impact fundraiser at Pizza Ranch!
This year’s Foundation Friday in September was our most successful fundraiser. Many businesses around Casper helped by donating items for auction packages. and we sold 150 tickets and raised $52,000 in silent and live auctions, thanks to very generous donors including a match sponsorship!
The Ta-Ta Trot in September came earlier this year because of the date switch for the Women’s Expo. We had 157 runners, and thanks to many generous sponsors the event made $6500. It was a beautiful morning, and an awesome way to kick off breast cancer awareness week in conjunction with Rocky Mountain Oncology’s free cancer screenings at the Women’s Expo.
In November our Reindeer Relay made $2700 and celebrated the Christmas season with 200 runners, 20 volunteers, and 10 dozen cookies. It was an amazing way to work together with the City of Casper and we had an amazing time in our Christmas best!
This year the Foundation has assisted 109 patients with 194 non-medical expenses like bills, and grocery and gas cards, wigs and mastectomy prosthetics, home care and many varied expenses. These requests are evaluated on a case by case basis and currently we are able to meet every qualifying patient request that comes to us! We also put together and delivered Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for patients who may have had a difficult time putting the meals together themselves.
Our Lodging and travel program has helped 55 patients this year stay in hotels near their treatment centers for more than 200 nights.
The Power in Pink campaign run by Mary Kay consultants allowed us to buy over 100 Satin Hands kits for patients which we will hand out all year. We got to start handing them out over the Christmas season!
The Angels Program
Rocky Mountain Oncology has hired a Volunteer Coordinator this year to oversee the Angels Workshop. Erin Jarboe has been with the program since the beginning of 2018 and has been a huge part of organizing the wig closet and breast boutique at Rocky Mountain Oncology. She also donates a ton of time to helping in all of the Wyoming Foundation for Cancer Care events.
This fall the American Cancer Society donated their Casper wig closet to the Angels. We now have over 150 wigs in inventory. The catalogues with pictures of all the wigs are available for patients who want to take a look at the collection before making an appointment.
The Angels held their annual Thanksgiving potluck dinner at Rocky Mountain Oncology the week before Thanksgiving, and each month they make smoothies or cocoa and take them to patients in chemo or in the waiting rooms.
This year the Angels made new patient kits for more than 50 patients and also put together 100 care packages monthly for patients in Rocky Mountain Oncology, including boxes of Christmas cookies this December.
The Angels program received a grant of $15,000 from the Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative to restock and maintain the Breast Boutique at RMOC this year!
As we all move forward to 2019 we have many exciting plans. We are able to increase our budget, and hope to raise $150,000 this year! More importantly, we want to increase the number of patients across Wyoming we can assist, and work with other cancer Clinics and foundations to increase access to screening opportunities and cancer care for all Wyoming Residents.
We are so blessed to work for Cancer patients in Wyoming and to work in this generous and loving community. We are so grateful to everyone who has donated, volunteered time, and participated in our events.
Happy New Year!