Hospital Staff Raising Money For Cancer Patients 

Staff at the Waldo County General Hospital held their annual cancer awareness walk and raffle. Ann Hooper is the Imaging Department Manager, Waldo County General Hospital and one of the organizers of this event. She says her goal is simple. Make sure all of the money generated goes back where it’s needed. “We want to keep going with a zero balance,” she says. “I mean our goal is to give it all back. We raise it then we give it back to those who deserve it and need it.”Staff from the oncology and radiology departments at the Waldo County General Hospital started this fundraiser 20 years ago. The first year all the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. For the next 19 years the money has stayed here in Waldo County area, helping to pay for mammograms, cancer treatments, and copays for folks who need it. “We decided we needed money in Waldo County,” says Hooper. “Not that the American Cancer Society is not a great society but we come from an area that has a lot of cancer in it and we have a lot of people that have less than average income and we’re trying to give back to the community.”The event is a combination walk and raffle with some big ticket items up for grabs. Some of the baskets being raffled off have up to $700 worth of things inside. Sue Drinkwater is a nursing manager in the Oncology Department at the Waldo County General hospital. “Numerous businesses in town and hospital departments dream up a raffle basket,” she says. “They contribute to it. Everybody buys tickets to put on for a basket they want to win.”You didn’t have to look far to find people who have been touched by cancer in one way or another. Steve Boguen of Belfast lost his wife to cancer last year. “My wife developed breast cancer a couple years ago, actually passed away last year because of it. It’s plenty of incentive because of that.”In 2004 Connie Bolby of Swanville was diagnosed with breast cancer that has since spread to her brain and lungs. Right now she says she’s stable enough to participate in this walk. “Thankful that I’m still here to watch it,” she said while holding her infant Granddaughter.For the folks in the oncology and radiology departments who’ve worked so hard to put this event on his is a day filled with emotion. “Because we have had so many friends that have had cancer or have passed away from cancer,” says Hooper. “So it’s kind of like a remembrance to them. You know we honor the living and we honor those who have passed away.”