NEW LEXINGTON — With a global pandemic seemingly limiting or canceling events throughout Perry County, some have opted to a change of operations in an effort to benefit those in the community suffering from cancer.
The 14th Annual Kat Dodson Foundation fundraiser has had to change its process of collecting donations and gifts to fit in with the ever-changing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, as hugs, haircuts and graduations had to wait, Perry County’s cancer patients cannot, according to Carol Dodson.
The well-known, local benefit is asking for donations again this year even with its cancelation of its large, in-person event typically held in the St. Rose gymnasium located in New Lexington.
The in-person extravaganza was canceled in an effort to protect those who regularly attend the event. Instead of holding a one day donation event, the Kat Dodson Foundation is opting to raise money for the entire month of September.
“The main thing we are going to be doing is — every Saturday in September from 9 a.m. to noon, we will be selling tickets at the catering hall at Dodson’s on Broadway,” Dodson told The Perry County Tribune.
The Gathering Place, located at 323 West Broadway in New Lexington, will be the site for drive-thru donations. There, Kat Dodson Foundation representatives will be selling tickets as well as chances for people to enter a 50/50 raffle, a lottery tree and other types of raffles.
“On the last day of September, we will be drawing the winners down [at The Gathering Place],” Dodson said.
Winners will be drawn on Sept. 26 at noon.
“If you want to buy some chances, you just drive through, we will come to your car and get your money and give you tickets,” Dodson said.
There will also be annual foundation shirts available throughout the whole month of September for sale for those interested.
For those who are able to mail in checks or cash donations, they can do so by sending them to the Kat Foundation at 4378 Township Road 130, Corning, Ohio 4373. Checks are to be made out to the Perry County Cancer Alliance.
“That’s really going to be the main fundraiser this year just trying to not have people interaction which is sad but that what we are doing,” Dodson said.
The change in scenery and operations is a sad thing to experience, according to Dodson who explained the in-person event was something locals looked forward to. Raising funds are foresighted to come in slower this year due to the adaptation to the pandemic.
“It just makes it difficult because a lot of what we do is personal,” Dodson commented. “People in Perry County realize what we do for cancer patients and that is why we have such a good event because people know that 100 percent of the proceeds stays local right in the county.”
Just in one day, the foundation gets over 400 attendees participating in the daylong fundraiser.
Last year, the foundation passed an important milestone as it has raised over $400,000. Last year, the Kat Dodson Foundation was able to give the Perry County Cancer Alliance around $62,000, according to Dodson.
Hopes are still high for the foundation in its fundraising efforts even with the current health climate conditions. In just a few weeks, the foundation has raised around $3,000 prior to sending letters out to community members.
A poker run is set to take place at the Tecumseh Trails on Sept. 19 with proceeds also going towards cancer patients in the county.
The Kat Dodson Foundation was founded in November of 2007 as it was originally categorized as a benefit organized by founders and siblings of the late Kat Dodson, Carol and Cheryl Dodson.
The first benefit was held in order to raise funds to help out Kat’s husband, Larry DiNunzio, as well as her 17-year-old daughter, Patricia DiNunzio, so that they could pay off medical bills that were left after Kat’s passing.