Benefit to cover transportation costs for breast cancer patients a success

IRONS — Christina Hinken, a breast cancer survivor, knows first-hand the stress of battling cancer and having to deal with the extra worries that come with it, such as traveling back and forth for treatments.

To help alleviate some of the worry for breast cancer patients in Lake County undergoing treatment at the Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer Center in Reed City, she hosted the Night Owl Party on Saturday to help patients cut transportation costs.

“I wanted to raise money for transportation for those in Lake County diagnosed with breast cancer because I am a breast cancer survivor,” she said. “I relied on my own transportation when I had treatments and the costs add up.”

A strong showing of community interest was seen at the Skinner Park Hall in Irons as many came to support the effort.

Hinken was pleased with the support from the community and local businesses.

“We sold about 100 tickets for the party before hand and that is not counting the people who paid entry at the door. About 150 people were in attendance,” Hinken said. “There were so many donations for the silent auction from local businesses. I am overwhelmed with all the support this cause received.”

The silent auction proceeds came to just over $3,000, and with the ticket sales, Hinken said they will be able to give a good size donation to help Lake County residents diagnosed with breast cancer with transportation costs and prevention at the Susan P. Wheatlake Center.

A stage performance by Onager, a classic rock cover band, blared throughout the hall and could be heard outside the building as crowds took in the party atmosphere. A bonfire drew some people out of the hall to enjoy the mild nighttime air.

“A huge thank you to all the local businesses and talented individuals who donated items for the silent auction and to all those that came out and supported the cause. A special thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the event run pretty smoothly.  I greatly appreciate everyone coming together to make the first annual Night Owl Party a great success,” Christina said.

Christina’s husband, Larry Hinken, worked along side his wife to host the event. He was encouraged by all of the community support.

The Hinkens plan to make the Night Owl Party fundraiser an annual event.