Through partnership funds, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies supports volunteers with charitable projects and events. These funds rely on CFA to provide administrative support and accounting services so they can focus on their mission. Sometimes the Foundation can even help ensure that an event that once had national support can continue to exist without it. Walks to fight cancer in Bedford and Cambria counties are two perfect examples.
The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Bedford County started in 2011 but came to an end in 2016 when the American Cancer Society consolidated the event with one happening in Blair County. A similar situation unfolded with the Relay for Life Greater Johnstown.
That could have been the end of the story for the walks in those communities, but it wasn’t.
Thanks to grassroots organizers and support from CFA, both communities continue to host walks and raise money for local families. The Bedford committee members who once worked with the American Cancer Society banded together to form the Bedford County Pink Ribbon Fund in 2017. Last year, they raised more than $59,000. Walk organizers in Cambria County also formed their own event, the Johnstown Walk of Hope, in 2016, raising around $30,000. This year, that event raised more than $55,000.
The driving force behind their success seems to be that all donations stay local. Participants in those events are helping their neighbors and fellow community members manage the cost of treatment-related expenses, such as past-due medical bills, insurance and prescription co-pays, gas cards, meals, and other bills. Organizers for both events rely on the Foundation for the nonprofit structure they need to continue to operate without having their own nonprofit status.
To read more about the grassroots efforts we support to help locals fight back against cancer, visit cfalleghenies.org/join-the-fight