Fall is a busy season as it seems every weekend there are public events to raise awareness for numerous worthwhile causes.
The organizers of two area foundations, the Sawyer Lemler Foundation for Community Improvement and Cancer Perks, both less than a year old, recently joined together to help bring attention to the needs of others at one event.
“When we decided to host the Color Your Cause 5K our goal was not to focus on one cause like so many races do,” Whitney Cromley, founder of Cancer Perks said. “Instead we wanted to let people choose what matters most to them and let them run or walk for it.
“Sept. 17, we hosted our first Color Your Cause event,” she added. “We offered 17 colored bracelets representing hundreds of causes and let each person wear and support the cause or causes they wanted to.”
More than 60 individuals participated and both Cromley and Sara Sawyer, co-founder of the Sawyer Lemler Foundation for Community Improvement were thrilled with that number for their inaugural event.
“We knew we couldn’t just pick one cause to support,” Sawyer said. “One of the purposes of our foundation is to touch and support as many causes as we can with one event.
“All of the money that we raised will stay here in Pettis County and will allow us to help bridge the gap between ideas and actions,” she added. “This was actually the first event our organization has hosted and we were very pleased with the turnout.”.
The Sawyer Lemler Foundation for Community Improvement was started in November of 2015 to provide assistance to those in need within Pettis County according to Sawyer.
Sawyer, who founded the organization with Steve Lemler, said the foundation focuses on fundraising efforts to provide direct assistance to individuals in Pettis County who are effected by hunger, homelessness and other tragedies they may encounter in their lives.
“We have had very positive and overwhelming support for our work so far,” Sawyer said. “What our organization is doing, helping both other groups as well as individuals, is a rather new idea and people really want to help with our efforts.”
Cancer Perks was founded at the end of February of 2016 after a friend of Cromley’s died after battling cancer.
Cancer Perks helps cancer patients at the Susan O’Brien-Fischer Cancer Center at Bothwell Regional Health Center in two ways.
They give cancer “perk” bags to every new patient at the hospital filled with items, many that are specifically requested by cancer patients.
The second way is through their Cancer Perk Resources, which assists cancer patients with tasks such as mowing yards, driving patients to and from chemo or radiation treatments, and offering other support through personal visits or support groups and small monetary assistance.
“The purpose of the organization isn’t to raise funds to cure cancer or for the latest medical research,” Cromley said. “All of the money and donations that we raise stays here to immediately help patients at Bothwell, focusing on what may seem to be small things but they are important to others who are facing cancer and their families.”
With causes ranging from adoption and various child and adult medical conditions to raising awareness of environmental causes, animal cruelty and prevention of homelessness and suicide among others, the founders of both organizations hoped to continue to host events such as last Saturday’s to continue to raise funds in support of the work other groups are providing.
“Whitney and I plan on doing this again next year,” Sawyer said. “We were pleased with the success of this event and are looking forward to working together again in our efforts to help others.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.