Everyone checking out live auction items from last year’s Yaak Wings benefit. Kelly Moreford acted as the professional auctioneer. Photo courtesy of Yaak Wings Benefit Facebook page.
By McKenzie Williams
The Wings dream began out of a discussion between a cancer patient, a doctor , and a social worker in the Flathead Valley. A common theme in their discussion was on the part of the cancer patient about giving back to the community, and the financial generosity received from friends and other community members during the very long cancer treatment process. These discussions grew to include people from the Lincoln County communities of Eureka, Libby, Troy and Yaak.
For those who don’t know about Wings Regional Cancer Support, it is a non-profit organization. Wings has an entirely volunteer based board that reimburses cancer patients for out of pocket costs associated with receiving treatment. Wings helps cancer patients who live in Flathead, Lake and Lincoln counties in Montana.
The organization has no paid staff and relies totally on volunteers. Every dollar raised is used to help cancer patients. Volunteers donate their time, creativity, money for printing costs, the food for local fundraising dinners, and even the gas to attend various meetings and collect auction items, all to help those in need.
This year’s annual Wings Week Fundraiser will kick off on Wednesday, May 1 with bowling at Troy’s Trojan Lanes. Please contact Trojan Lanes directly at 295-5024 to sign up.
As usual, there will be a variety of special events planned to make it easy for community members to have fun while raising funds in support of local cancer patients.
Whether you enjoy bowling, bingo, hitting the road (on foot or bike), eating, or shopping, Wings week has something for everyone.
Money raised will be used to help our family members, friends and neighbors, who have to travel for their cancer treatments. All the funds stay local, and there are no salaries or overhead costs. There is no complicated paperwork or difficult requirement for qualification either; anyone living in Lincoln, Flathead or Lake County who has been diagnosed with cancer is eligible to receive assistance.
In 2018, Wings helped 67 cancer patients in Lincoln County. Those patients received grants totaling $71,500. For all three counties, Wings helped 138 patients with grants totaling almost $190,000.
Since 1997, Wings has helped 3,192 patients and has awarded grants for over $2.5 million.
This year, in addition to bowling at Trojan Lanes, fundraising events will include Cabinet Mountain Brewery’s Brews for Benefits. This fundraiser will begin on Thursday, May 2 and continue every Thursday throughout the month of May. Starting at 6 p.m., the brewery will donate $1 from every beer sold to support Wings. Other fun activities are planned for those nights too. On Thursday, May 2, Wings clowns will be selling balloons for chances at a prize, and on May 9, they hope to hold their ever-popular trivia night.
On Friday, May 3 “Wingo,” a Wings bingo tournament will be held. “Thanks to the Libby VFW for sponsoring this event,” said Wings volunteer Karen Stickney.
“Wingo” will start at 6:30 p.m. You can pay at the door, or purchase a ticket in advance, by contacting 293-4380.
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