EMS and public safety officials like police or fire fighters give a lot of themselves to the community.
And one group is trying to do that even when they are not on the job.
Team Tessa is trying to help out people with cancer and their families pay the bills that aren’t covered by insurance, like home heating, groceries, or making sure people have enough gas to get to their appointments.
And the Director Tessa Hastings says there is a demand. “There’s absolutely a need, and the word is getting out and the word is spreading that we’re available.”
In 2009 a group of EMS workers started Team Tessa to help out people with cancer, and because of their jobs they had first hand knowledge of people in financial need and making tough choices.
“We often come across patients who don’t want to go by ambulance because they simply can’t afford it,” said Team Tessa President Bob Peterson. “So there is a lot of concern there from the patient standpoint of how they are going to pay bills, etc”
So they took part in regional walks and raised thousands of dollars, but many of those dollars were directed into national funds.
“But I was still seeing local people who weren’t able to make ends meet who were going without treatments in order to provide for their family” said Hastings. “And that was the whole point is that let’s see if we can keep this money local”
So now Team Tessa is a non profit group, and they have a masquerade ball planned for October 12th, at the Lucerne Inn. The money raised will continue to help those in need in Hancock, Penobscot, and Washington counties.
“All that we ask is that you ask for something specific so don’t just write help me, we kind of need to know where you’re at, and what exactly you need,” said Hastings who has survived being twice diagnosed with cancer herself. “We’re used to springing into action in a moment’s notice and unfortunately when people are real desperate for help, it does come at the 11th hour because they’ve tried everything else in their tool box in order to make things happen.”
For more information about the Masquerade ball you can visit the website www.teamtessa.org
You can order tickets there too, $25 per person or $40 per couple.
The ball is only for people 21 and older, and will be at the Lucerne Inn Saturday October 12th