When someone in need reaches out to the Ellsworth County Cancer Fund, “funds are available, right away,” Mog said. This was important to her, and remains so. “We refer to the ECCF as ‘OUR’ fund, meaning it’s here to help the people in our community.”
Deb Mog is the founder and Chairperson of the 501(c)3 Ellsworth County Cancer Fund (ECCF), and on June 10th, they held their annual triathlon with great success.
I wondered what a local cancer fund did that made it different from national organizations doing the same work, and Deb was happy to fill me in.
“How we got started,” Deb said, “was because of my personal cancer journey.”
Deb Mog is a cancer survivor with a happy ending. “I had cancer, and I am grateful that I had great health insurance and proper treatment. Today I am cancer free!”
Mog, like many survivors of health challenges, felt compelled to do something to help other people, so she created the Ellsworth County Cancer Fund 13 years ago.
“There are other organizations that help people fight cancer, like the American Cancer Society,” Mog said. “A challenge occurs when a person with cancer will need more financial help than a national cancer fund can assist with.” She went on to say that there are limits per county and patient, and to ensure local people get the help they need, the Ellsworth County Cancer Fund steps in.
“We think the American Cancer Society is great,” she continued, “but we also know they can’t do everything, and I wanted to ensure no one local has unmet needs.”
How they help
The overwhelming majority of the funds they raise go to patients. For example, 1% of donations go to administration, 1% to the American Cancer Society to help fund research and the rest to the Ellsworth Cancer Fund’s endowment.
When someone in need reaches out to the Ellsworth County Cancer Fund, “funds are available, right away,” Mog said. “We refer to the ECCF as ‘OUR’ fund, meaning it’s here to help the people in our community.”
She went on to tell me that when someone can’t work due to cancer, they can assist with rent, electric or utility bills, and even money for gas to drive to the doctor, which is often far away.
The Triathlon, an Ellsworth Original
Every year, the ECCF organizes a triathlon to raise funds. This year, they had a fantastic turnout: nine teams raised $40,360.70.
The triathlon has three events, and all the teams compete in them. They are:
1. Team fundraising
2. How many laps around the track can your team do?
3. The amount of money raised at the team’s campsite the night of the event
Additionally, the ECCF sells raffle tickets and accepts donations from sponsors.
“We appreciate Pattern Energy donating. They and our other sponsors make a meaningful impact, and we appreciate Pattern being good neighbors through Post Rock Wind.”
Mog also said that the generosity of the survivors, their families and friends also impacted fundraising.
“Thanks to the generosity of our community, we awarded $34,783 in grants this fiscal year. It shows the strength and the care of our community looking to help those in need.”
Thanks to the endowment, the ECCF will continue operations well into the future. “We have the endowment professionally managed, which allows the fund to keep growing,” Mog told me. “It really does take a community, and here in Ellsworth, we have a fantastic one that looks out for each other.”