Community Raises Money for Families Battling Childhood Cancer

By: Morgan Demmel Email
By: Morgan Demmel Email

The Harlem Ambassadors fundraiser event is at 5pm Sunday, September 25, 2011 in the Aurora Middle School gym.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at: Cornerstone Bank, Padgett Business Services, Worn-Identi-Tees/Heartland Jewelry, Pinnacle Bank, Edward Jones Investments or at the door.

All proceeds will benefit three Aurora families battling childhood cancer.

Click HERE for more information about the Harlem Ambassadors.

Each year more than 12,000 children and teens are diagnosed with cancer. The Optimist Club of Aurora is reaching out to three families in their community who've been affected.

The pains of cancer extend far beyond treatment for an individual. And the stress on families-- and their bank accounts-- can be overwhelming.

"In the last five years, we've spent about half our time in Omaha either at Children's or at the Med Center," Nicole Owen says.

Owen and her 13-year-old daughter Sydnee moved back to Aurora this week after three months of treatment in Omaha, and the emotional and financial stress of that treatment adds up.

Optimist Club of Aurora board member Kelly Kliewer says the battle with cancer gets expensive. That's why he and other Optimist Club members are helping to ease that burden for the Owens family and two other Aurora families.

"It's important to help them out when we can and we're going to pull the community together and raise some money," Aurora resident Marcy Guinane says.

The Optimist Club is hosting a fundraiser Sunday, September 25 with the Harlem Ambassadors basketball team.

"They are going to be coming and presenting some entertainment with a challenging team from Aurora called the Optimistic Rebounders," event organizer Deb Quick says.

It hasn't been hard to find help within the community.

Mayor Marlin Seeman says Aurora is a small town with a big heart.

"Everybody knows everybody and so when you come into a battle like this for a family, it's really nice for our community being as close as we are to fight together and battle together," Quick says.

Sydnee says the community's support has given her hope.

"It helps quite a bit, like more than people even kind of realize," she says.

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