An upcoming 5K race is easing the financial burden for residents of McPherson County who have cancer.

The Giving Hope 5K on Sept. 2 will raise money for the Home State Bank Giving Hope cancer fund. The event has been held for five years now, said Becky Goss, president and CEO of the McPherson County Community Foundation.

The foundation first started awarding grants in February 2010, and since then, they have awarded 150 grants and raised over $42,000 to assist individuals with cancer in McPherson County.

“This particular fund gives people with cancer or a cancer related illness a resource to help them pay for expenses, such as their utility bills or if women need a wig because of their treatments, or paying for those above and beyond costs that insurance doesn’t pay for,” Goss said.

Registration for the Giving Hope 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. Sept. 2. The run/walk will start at 8 a.m. at Lakeside Cabin, 300 N. Lakeside Drive in McPherson, and will proceed around the park and on a few blocks of city streets.

Grants awarded through the fund are $500 each. Patients going through cancer treatments often have large expenses and can find themselves having a hard time keeping up with other expenses.

“Another thing we will do is provide up to a $250 gas card if they have to go to Kansas City or go to Hutchinson on a regular basis or go to Mayo Clinic. That can help with those travel expenses because they can get costly,” Goss said.

The only requirement for this fund is that the applicant must be a McPherson County resident.

To participate in the event, the cost is $25 for adults and $5 for children. Participants will receive a T-shirt with registration as supplies last.

The fund was originally established because of a Home State Bank employee who had cancer.

Co-workers saw how much of a challenge it was to pay for everything while battling cancer, so they decided to financial challenges through the Giving Hope fund.

With the popularity of the event growing, the committee has seen how many people they have reached through this event.

"It's clear that this is something they need to continue. Sadly, cancer is not going away. It's there because people are still needing help. As long as people need help, the group wants to keep working with it," Goss said.

A long term goal the foundation hopes to achieve is creating an endowment fund.

"We want a permanent resource to provide. By building an endowment fund with the foundation, they know that the money will be invested and there will always be grant dollars off of it based on the size of that particular endowment," Goss said.

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her stories on Twitter at MacSentinel.