Center bringing awareness week to Hettinger

A week-long cancer awareness event designed by the Bismarck Cancer Center will be hosted in Hettinger over the week of Oct. 3.

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor

A week-long cancer awareness event designed by the Bismarck Cancer Center will be hosted in Hettinger over the week of Oct. 3. Project Hope is a community wellness event that was designed to educate local businesses and their employees on cancer prevention, early detection, and adopting healthy lifestyles.

project-hope-logoRhonda Fetch, Outreach Services Manager for the Bismarck Cancer Center, was in Hettinger on Tuesday, Sept. 13 educating local businesses and recruiting them to join the movement. Another part of the project’s purpose is to raise money for the Bismarck Cancer Center Foundation. Created to provide support to those requiring treatment, the foundation hopes to ease the burdens patients and their families face. Money that is raised in Hettinger will go towards supporting patients in the area in multiple facets including transportation, lodging, emotional and spiritual care, nutritional care, survivorship care, massage and physical therapy, and art therapy.

“Any of the money that [local businesses] do raise, goes back to patients in this area that have to go back and forth for treatment,” Fetch said. “All the money we have goes back to our patients.”

This is where businesses can get creative with fundraising, according to Fetch. If a business agrees to join the event, the foundation asks that they provide donations of $10 per employee. How the business raises that money is up to them. For example, Fetch said, a company can offer the luxury of a casual day, or jeans day to their employees, provided they chip in to the donation pool.

“It’s a great way for businesses that want to cover any type of wellness,” Fetch said.

During the five-day event beginning Oct. 3, Project Hope will recognize four different cancers and save Friday, Oct. 7, to honor survivors. On those days, participating businesses are asked to dress in the color designated to honor that specific type of cancer. Monday, Oct. 3 will be breast cancer (pink), Tuesday, Oct. 4 will be prostate cancer (light blue), Wednesday, Oct. 5 will be head/neck cancer (burgundy/ivory), Thursday, Oct. 6 will be colorectal cancer (navy), and Friday, Oct. 7 will be survivorship (purple). Every year Project Hope honors different cancers.

The participating businesses will also be given literature on each cancer. It will included education and prevention information on the individual diseases. Stickers and posters will also be provided to show support.

This is the first year Hettinger will host the event, and as it coincides with West River Health Services Health Week, Fetch said the responses have been excellent from the local businesses she visited.

“It’s been fabulous, [Hettinger has] been really good,” Fetch said.

During her initial visit, Fetch did not collect any money. She will return a week before the event and hand out the materials to the participating businesses. Then, sometime after Oct. 7, she will come back and collect the donations. Included in the materials will be a donation envelope.

Fetch also said they will have a booth during health week at West River.

If any business would like to join the event that hasn’t already, they can contact Fetch with the Bismarck Cancer Center at 701-222-6100.