Preaching Christ Church, Wellmont Cancer Institute Holding Event for Cancer Patient Assistance Fund

SEPT. 14, 2017 | KINGSPORT, TENN.

A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing moment for people, but a local church is again demonstrating how community support enables them to focus on winning the battle.

Preaching Christ Church is partnering with the Wellmont Cancer Institute to hold Friends for the Fight Saturday, Oct. 7, at 5 p.m. at the Kingsport Farmers Market, 308 Clinchfield St. This third annual event raises money for Wellmont Health System’s cancer patient assistance fund, which supports patients with their gas, utility, medication, transportation and other expenses at a financially challenging time.

“Virtually everyone has been affected in some way by cancer, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to help patients with their daily financial needs,” said the Rev. Chad Roberts, Preaching Christ Church’s pastor. “Our church was thrilled to learn about Wellmont’s cancer patient assistance fund and align with a program geared specifically for people in our region. We measure our church’s health by the way we glorify God and how we serve the community, and Friends for the Fight enables us to accomplish that successfully.”

Friends for the Fight will feature a catered dinner by Braeden’s Barbeque and live music from Folk Soul Revival. This popular five-member roots-rock band, which is based in the Bristol area, has opened for nationally renowned acts such as Travis Tritt and Dr. Ralph Stanley. Local venues where it has played include the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, the Carter Family Fold and The Down Home.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to bid on a broad selection of silent auction items, such as Dollywood tickets, a grill package, a gym membership and several themed baskets.

In 2016, Preaching Christ Church was able to provide $10,000 to the cancer patient assistance fund from Friends for the Fight. The event attracted about 200 guests a year ago, and organizers are seeking to double attendance this year.

“It is extremely helpful for our patients to know they are not fighting cancer alone, and this event illustrates how others stand by their side during this important time in their lives,” said Sue Lindenbusch, the cancer institute’s senior vice president. “We have admired the community service and love for our cancer patients that Preaching Christ Church shows and know this outreach has profoundly affected those who have been diagnosed – as well as their families.”

Since the 2016 event, the church has created a nonprofit organization, also called Friends for the Fight, to support the cancer patient assistance fund. This 501(c)(3) entity, which includes many Wellmont representatives on its board, allows businesses and individuals to now make tax-deductible donations to this cause.

Preaching Christ Church has also established another initiative called Fuel for the Fight, which provides gas cards for cancer patients. In the last year, the church has provided $3,500-$4,000 in gas cards, which is in addition to the $10,000 donated from the dinner.

“The Wellmont Cancer Institute is guided by our commitment to bring strength for today and hope for tomorrow for our patients,” said Lisa Steadman, director of the cancer institute’s outpatient facilities in Kingsport and Johnson City, who is helping organize the Oct. 7 dinner.

“Preaching Christ Church and community members who attend the Friends for the Fight dinner are playing integral roles in helping us achieve this. We encourage anyone in the region to join us for this entertaining and fun-filled evening so we can continue to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Tickets are $20 apiece for anyone 13 and older and $10 for everyone else. Sponsored tables, which include eight seats, are available for $160.

People can purchase tickets at www.friendsforthefight.com or at the cancer institute facility at 4485 W. Stone Drive near the Allandale Mansion. They are also available at the door, but space is limited to 400 people. Those who cannot attend can purchase a ticket for a cancer survivor.

More information about the cancer institute is available at www.wellmont.org/hope.