Scattered showers didn’t dampen the spirits of the crowd that gathered at the 11th annual Traci’s Hope barbeque held on Saturday, Oct. 4. Guests enjoyed a delicious Smokey Legend barbeque, fun activities and raffles, great music and good company at the Apalachin Firemen’s Field Day grounds.
Traci’s Hope is a non-profit organization designed to pay for expenses outside of medical bills, such as gas money to get to appointments, childcare, mortgage or utility bills, or house cleaning, to name just a few.
Traci Gibson was diagnosed with Stage 3b breast cancer at the age of 31 and lived with the disease for seven years. Traci’s Hope was her inspiration, a fund set up to help breast cancer patients lessen the burden of overwhelming expenses. Traci passed away on Oct. 3, 2006, and today family and friends carry on her mission.
One guest at the Oct. 4 barbeque, Beth Barton (Park) of Endicott, N.Y. attended the event to give back to the organization that helped her while she endured breast cancer treatments. Barton shared, “I was very blessed to have something like that, to help me through the tough times I had.” Barton received assistance from Traci’s Hope to help pay for her mortgage payment. By sharing stories like this, the Traci’s Hope organization hopes it encourages others dealing with breast cancer to step forward, who might otherwise shy away from asking for help.
About 90 motorcycle riders registered for the eighth annual Traci’s Hope motorcycle ride, which left Hiawatha Motorcycles/Wheels Roadhouse in Apalachin at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 4. Although less of a turnout than past years, the number does not include passengers, and several new riders as well as regular annual riders braved the weather and took to the road.
Guests lined either side of the entrance of the Field Day grounds, applauding as riders arrived back to the barbeque following a two-hour ride.
Four women riders from Hammond, N.Y. came all the way from the St. Lawrence River area for their first time riding in the event. Another group of women riders from the New York Chapter of the Red Riding Hood “Women in the Wind” also participated in the ride. The Traci’s Hope motorcycle ride draws a mix of riders locally and from afar, acknowledging the fact that Traci’s Hope has touched people everywhere.
A notable upcoming event, “Braziere’s for Hope,” which was set up in past years at the Traci’s Hope barbeque, is expanding efforts at a separate event scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 25, from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Vestal Elks Lodge, 2071 Vestal Parkway West, Vestal, N.Y.
In addition to one-of-a-kind bras, the silent auction will feature custom gift baskets and a 50/50 raffle, all proceeds benefitting Traci’s Hope. Creative “bra-artisans” are needed, as well as volunteers to bake cupcakes or help at the event. Contact Teri Bower at (607) 625-2558 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Traci’s Hope has helped 465 people to date in Tioga and Broome counties in N.Y. and Susquehanna and Bradford counties in Pa., and has donated upwards of $332,000. All money raised stays within these counties. Despite the rainy weather at the Oct. 4 barbeque, the Traci’s Hope organization was pleased with the turnout and is thankful for the continued support of the community.
If you were unable to attend the barbeque, donations are welcomed at any time. Find Traci’s Hope on Facebook, Twitter, and on the web at tracishope.com.
Click here to view more photos from the event.