Area residents have been consistent in their support of the Lamar Area Hospice organization, and a $20,000 donation from the Beers and Brats for Boobies Committee is a confirmation of that loyalty. During the December 7th presentation, organizer Megan Grett said she was overwhelmed by the amount donated this year, “We started our first year with just 65 runners and contributed $7,000.” The number of participants has climbed each year, as well as the amount donated to Lamar Hospice. The event is held during the Lamar Chamber’s annual Oktoberfest. Contestants run or walk a race course up to Willow Creek Park and back and wear an optional pink tutu, eat a brat and sip some beer at the finish line. Root beer is offered to underage runners.
Although there is a participant fee, the bulk of the donations are from corporate sponsors, according to committee member, Lisa McCollough. “The number of participants was down a little from last year, due partly to a change in the Oktoberfest date and it also coincided with the Holly Fair, but the contributions from the sponsors helped put us at our largest donation to date.” Grett said that can create a good problem in a way as the sponsors receive a tee shirt that displays a logo of their business, “and we’re running out of room to have everyone listed, so we’ll have to find a way to make that work for next year. We appreciate the support and never want to have anyone excluded.” Grett added, “We had three sponsorship levels, Action, Hope and Pink and those choices really helped to raise more funding for the BBB this year.” McCollough added that this year the committee was approached by people wanting to contribute. Committee members also went door to door along the route, passing out flyers describing the event.
Deb Pelley, Executive Director of Lamar Area Hospice, said the donations will be used to continue the work of the Good Grief support group which aids local youngsters through the loss of a loved one. “We have a room dedicated to Good Grief on the third floor and these donations help make it possible. It’s a comfortable room, designed to allow young children to open up to the staff about how they’re dealing with the loss of a loved one,” she explained. Pelley said the Beers and Brats for Boobies group is getting well known throughout the community with their fundraising efforts for breast cancer awareness. “They have established themselves with this one day of fun each year and it has become a wonderful charity event.” Pelley said the Good Grief program, under Roni Vallejos, is getting referrals from local schools when there is a need for their special assistance. “More people are coming to see the value of this type of support and the donations are helping continue that in our area.”
Vallejos, Certified Child Life Specialist, said she was very appreciative about receiving funding help for the support group and noted that the second annual Father-Daughter dance, another fundraiser, will be held at the Lamar Elks on January 21st.
By Russ Baldwin
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