Georgetown fundraiser earns $20,000 for breast cancer charity

This dynamic duo, Josh Wharton, left, and Chess Hedrick, was the winning guest bartender tandem at Stockley Tavern’s fundraising event supporting the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. (Submitted photo)

GEORGETOWN — October 2020 has come and gone.

But support for individuals facing breast cancer with financial roadblocks is ongoing.

In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Stockley Tavern on U.S. 113 south of Georgetown hosted a mega-fundraiser Oct. 24 that proved to be far more than grand.

Through a cornhole tournament hosted by Delaware Cornhole, sale of pulled-pork sandwiches by Haass’ Family Butcher Shop, a guest bartender competition, shirt and raffle sales and a generous match from Stockley Tavern owner Ken Adams, the total amount raised was $20,000.

“It was a wonderful surprise — Stockley Tavern,” said Connie Holdridge, program director for Sussex County for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. “We can’t do what we do without the support of generous people and businesses like you.”

The coalition provides support to men and women in diverse communities who have recently been diagnosed or are currently battling breast cancer in Delaware. It helps those with low incomes and those with little or no insurance receive free or reduced-cost care.

The guest bartender segment featured tandems of D.J. Long with Jesse Long, Amanda Robinson with Ross Robinson, Chess Hedrick with Josh Wharton and Rob Meding with Shannon Morris.

The tavern matched the winning tips from the Hedrick/Wharton duo in the amount of $5,567.

Raffles were held for gift baskets from JD Shuckers Georgetown, Meding’s Seafood and the Stockley Tavern and a sunset cruise with Bill Slayer Sportfishing, as well as a 50/50 prize.

The effort included generous company donations and participation from Melvin L. Joseph Construction Co. Inc., Stockley Materials, Mr. Mulch of Seaford, Iron Source, the Good Ole Boy Foundation, Meding’s Seafood, JD Shuckers Georgetown and Bill Slayer Sportfishing.

An embedded mission of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition is getting screened regularly as the earlier breast cancer is detected, the higher the rate of survival is.

“The vision of the agency is to create a community where every person diagnosed with breast cancer becomes a survivor, and fear and doubt are replaced with knowledge and hope,” said Ms. Holdridge.

The DBCC functions as a two-part nonprofit entity.

“One, which I do, is working with newly diagnosed people because it is emotionally a shock. It is such a trauma to your whole mind if somebody tells you that you have cancer because that sounds like you’re going to die,” Ms. Holdridge said. “We do one-on-one mentoring with people that have been recently diagnosed. And I am a survivor, and my co-workers are survivors, and when we say, ‘We know (how) you feel,’ we do, because that’s a big deal. They will open up to us more than they will to the medical people.”

The flip side of DBCC’s business is to ensure that people are getting screened.

“Any woman over the age of 40 should have a mammogram every year. And in the state of Delaware, we can get it done at no out-of-pocket cost. We reach out to all communities, despaired communities, people who are underinsured or have no insurance,” said Ms. Holdridge. “If you are diagnosed early the chances of getting it cleared out of your system and living a long, healthy life are much stronger than if you wait until later.”

Through some grant funding, DBCC can provide financial assistance to those out of work while undergoing chemotherapy. “When you’re out of work for a month, that is a real blow to people. We do have funds from grants, that help pay rent, mortgage, car payment … something that is a financial need incurred because of the disease.”

Help extends beyond the DBCC.

“We have got such good nonprofits in Sussex County to help people. We have an interconnectivity between all the nonprofits,” said Ms. Holdridge. “So if I have somebody in the summertime who is going through chemo, and it’s hot in their house, First State Community Action will give them an air conditioner.”

The event at Stockley Tavern continues the ongoing support for the DBCC in Downstate Delaware.

Last year, in early November following two weather postponements in October, more than $20,000 was raised at the seventh annual Georgetown Breast Cancer Awareness Car, Truck, Bike and Tractor Show, staged at the Nutter D. Marvel Carriage Museum in Georgetown. This annual show, facilitated by Levin Clark, was unable to be held this year due largely to logistical hurdles in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I lost a lot of fundraisers this year, and that puts a burden on us, all the nonprofits,” said Ms. Holdridge. “All of our money comes in from grants and donations. These fundraisers are big-ticket items.”