A 5K this weekend will ease the burden of cancer by taking care of the home front.

A 5K this weekend will ease the burden of cancer by taking care of the home front.

With the Giving Hope Cancer Fund through the McPherson County Community Foundation, cancer patients in McPherson County can receive cash for medical bills, rent, transportation costs or even groceries.

To support the fund, residents can participate in Saturday’s fourth annual Giving Hope 5K Run/Walk.

Since 2008, the Giving Hope Cancer Fund group from Home State Bank has raised over $51,000 and awarded 129 grants totaling $35,217 to McPherson County residents.

“We raise money to help cancer patients with bills or other costs to take some of the burden off as they’re going through this time,” explained Tiffani Eilrich, who leads the Giving Hope committee and has been with the Giving Hope Fund from the start. “We wanted a larger fundraiser in addition to our smaller fundraisers through the year. It’s not competitive by any means — just getting outside and having fun while supporting those currently battling cancer and remembering loved ones.”

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Lakeside Park. Participants can still enter the day of the event and cost is $25 for adults and $5 for children to register. The 5K run/walk begins at 9 a.m. and the kids’ run begins at 10 a.m. and follows a shorter route than the 5K.

All youth participants will receive a participation token, and adults in first, second and third place will be awarded at the awards presentation at 10:30 a.m.

The fund was started in 2008 as one of Eilrich’s coworkers began chemotherapy.

“Just through watching her, we felt like there was a need to help out a little more locally with things that are happening right here, right now — like medical bills and traveling,” Eilrich said. “There are so many organizations that help on the research side of things, but we wanted to help any and all cancer patients as they go through this time. A couple of us felt this was a need so we got with the community foundation and here we are so many years later.”

The next step for the committee is to create a lasting fund that will continue to benefit residents. This year, the Giving Hope committee established an endowment, which will allow funds to continue their impact into the future.

“We’re looking at long-term goals for the fund itself,” Eilrich said. “For us, we’ll still give out grants, but we want to make it more permanent in the future with lasting impact. You never know what the future looks like, and we want to keep it out there for a long time, even past our own efforts.”

The Giving Hope Cancer Fund awards grants of $500 per person for bills and $250 for travel expenses, so one individual could receive $750 total this year.

Tax-deductible donations may be made to: McPherson County Community Foundation, Memo: Home State Bank Giving Hope Fund, PO Box 1266, McPherson, KS 67460.

For Giving Hope Fund applications or additional information contact Home State Bank at 620-241-3732, the McPherson County Community Foundation at 620-245-9070 or at http://www.thecsb.com/home/givinghope.