This is part of a series that highlights the organizations or people behind one of the Foundation’s funds.
A cancer diagnosis is devastating to a family in every possible way.
That’s why the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund raises money for local families who are dealing with cancer and temporarily can’t afford to make ends meet, giving them one less thing to worry about.
Last year, according to founder Doreen Perks, the organization distributed more than $130,000 to more than 130 families, to help them with vital needs like paying household bills and traveling to see out-of-town doctors.
“These folks don’t have anywhere else to go,” Perks said. “They don’t have any other option. So when we come in, we’re like a saving grace.”
Perks’ husband was one of the founding members of the local chapter of Coaches vs. Cancer, a group that raises money to find cures and treatment for cancer, through the American Cancer Society.
But, Perks says, her husband wished he could do more for local people struggling with the disease. So after Bob lost his fight with cancer, the Bob Perks Fund was created in his memory, and since 2006, it has made coping with cancer easier for hundreds of families.
“Now we have the American Cancer Society which is doing all these wonderful things to find cures and treatments, and the Bob Perks Fund, which is helping locally,” Perks said.
Every year, as word about the Fund gets out, more and more people seek assistance from the Fund, Perks said. Because of that, raising money is more important than ever.
Every year the group hosts a tailgate party/fundraiser for an away Penn State football game. This year’s event was held last weekend at the Elks Club for the Ohio State game. Fundraisers like this are an essential source of income for the group, but with need increasing every year, they need every donation they can get.
Perks encourages people to donate because they can be assured that their money will stay in the community, and because the organization has very little overhead, more of their money will be put directly in the hands of families who need it.
“People can turn around and look at their donation and know that most of it is going right back out to the community,” Perks said.
For more information about the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund, and to donate online, check out their website. You can also donate to the Bob Perks Fund of the Centre County Community Foundation through our website or by sending a check to PO Box 648, State College, PA 16804 and indicating that you would like it to go toward that fund.