It's not usually worth it to roll the dice when it comes to cancer, but on Saturday, Feb. 13, the odds will be in your favor, as the Tanner's Touch Foundation holds its second annual Casino Night raising funds to fight childhood cancer.
Martin's Westminster will host the evening featuring table games such as craps, roulette and poker, all played with "funny money," according to Stephanie Moore, of Taneytown, the creator of the foundation.
"We will have an open bar, we are having food, we are having a photo booth. We are having a DJ, dancing; we're having a silent auction and we are having prizes for the top person with the most funny money at the end of the casino," Moore said. "It's $125 per person and that includes everything except, of course, the silent auction. Everything else is absolutely included. The photo booth is unlimited, you can get as many pictures as you want in that."
The Tanner's Touch Foundation raises funds for research into pediatric cancer but it also donates money to families affected by cancer, according to Moore. The proceeds of the Casino Night will go in part to the family of Jake Offutt, the Westminster teen who died in July after a battle with brain cancer. Another portion of the proceeds will go to the family of Colby Reid, a 13-year-old boy from Mount Airy currently undergoing chemotherapy for stage four Anaplastic Large Cell (Non-Hodgkin) Lymphoma, to help pay for his medical bills.
Tickets are available by calling 717-253-4437 or sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moore created the Tanner's Touch Foundation after her then 3-year-old son Tanner was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma in 2009. A small lump on his back quickly grew into a frightening tumor.
"He had 26 radiation treatments, and 42 weeks of chemo," Moore said. "It was a long, but during that whole time, the families and the community came together so quickly and helped out in ways that you would never even imagine."
Today, Tanner is a healthy 10-year-old who enjoys wrestling on a team, but Moore never forgot the anxiety his illness caused, or the salve provided by a community that cared and helped her family through that hard time.
"I started this foundation to help other families," she said. "None of the money ever went to Tanner's bills because we had so much help. Not all families get that kind of help. Not all families can raise that money."
Colby Reid's family is facing that struggle head on, and the support from the Tanner's Touch Foundation is much appreciated, according to Colby's mother, Becky Carr.
"Money that is donated will greatly help in paying for Colby's medical expenses and other expenses incurred from his illness," she said. "If it were Colby's words he would say he's 'fighting like a boss!'"
If you go
What: Valentine's Day Casino Night
When: 7-11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
Where: Martin's Westminster, 505 Jermor Lane, Westminster
To purchase tickets, call 717-253-4437 or send email to email@example.com.