New non-profit outlines plan to help local cancer patients
We first reported Wednesday night, large donors to Bakersfield's Relay for Life are now shifting the majority of their support to a new Kern County Cancer Fund.
Thursday afternoon, creators of that non-profit made their plans public at a news conference.
Long-time Kern County cancer fundraiser Leslie Knox and Fight for Life organizers announced they will donate all of the money raised at this year's event next month, to a new Kern County Cancer Fund instead of the American Cancer Society.
And, Dr. Ravi Patel says the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center will match the money raised up to a million dollars and scale back their donation to the Relay for Life.
CBCC found of the nearly $3 million raised at Bakersfield's Relay for Life and other charity events in 2011, less than $73,000 came back to help fund services for cancer patients in Kern County.
Those with the Kern County Cancer Fund say they will keep all of the money in the community and help local cancer patients with expenses that come with the cancer diagnosis and treatment.
An American Cancer Society spokesperson said they welcome all groups wanting to fight cancer.
"We're not worried that we won't raise as much. It's not really a competition of if we're going to raise more or if they are going to raise more. Every dollar counts. We're thrilled that there will be another organization coming alongside. That helps all of the way around," said Christy Ray, leadership volunteer for Relay for Life.
"They really do good work, but our community donates close to $2.5, $3 million. If we are donating $2.5 to $3 million, at least half of that money needs to stay with the local people in need," said Dr. Patel.
"I mean it's close to our hearts. To be able to be fortunate enough to give back at the level we are, I mean it's just phenomenal. What she (Leslie Knox) does is amazing. What Dr. Patel has come through with is the icing on the cake for us," said Robert Rice with Fight for Life.
This year's Fight for Life lineup includes the band Little Big Town.
World champion boxers Mia St. John and Molly McConnel will be the featured fight.
The event will be held November 10th at the old Home Base building on Buck Owens Boulevard.
For ticket information log onto http://fightforlifeevent.org