Chronicle Tribune Article - May 9, 2023
On Friday, May 5, Cancer Services of Grant County hosted its 24th annual Walk of Hope in downtown Marion.
Executive Director Rocky Whitehead said the event is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and he enjoys seeing the community at the event.
“It is one of the ways we raise funds to be able to do what we do and not charge a fee for our service,” Whitehead said. “Everything we do for clients that walk through our doors is 100 percent free.”
Whitehead said Cancer Services of Grant County has been in the area since 1959 and was created because Grant County has a high cancer rate.
“We were started by Grant County residents, and we’re here for Grant County residents,” he added. “A lot of people think we’re part of the American Cancer Society or Marion Health, but we’re not. We work closely with Marion Health, but we’re not part of it.”
Whitehead also said the organization provides services like transportation to appointments, prescriptions, and providing hospital supplies like beds, walkers or shower chairs. They also have wigs, hats or turbans for individuals who may have lost their hair during chemotherapy treatment.
Whitehead was pleased with the turnout of the community at the event this year, he said, but that’s the same way he feels every year.
“I’ve been here 10 years,” he said. “That is one of the best feelings, and it gives me goosebumps to see so many people come together for a cause like that and to show the folks who are facing cancer that they have a bigger support system than they thought.”
He also said he is proud of how willing the community is to come to an event like the Walk of Hope.
“This is a very giving community that we’re in,” he added. “Everyone is willing to step up and help.”
While the Walk of Hope is Cancer Services of Grant County’s largest fundraiser, the organization also has other events, like a golf scramble in August and a fun run in October.
For more information on Cancer Services of Grant County and its future events, visit the organization’s website.