For the past for seven years Jude Hobenshield has been holding the Candles by the River Celebration, a luminary for cancer fundraiser, at the Annual Pioneer Day festivities in Old Hazelton.
For Hobenshield, Cancer has affected her family for many years and is a going concern for her to this day she explained.
“Just about every female in my family has had breast cancer,” she explained.
“Seven females in my family have passed away from the disease and I know that one day it will be on my doorstep.
“So I’d rather raise money now and try and make a difference while I can as it’s a big thing on my mind, especially having three daughters.”
Every year the turnout has increased and while raising money may not have been the sole reason for creating the ceremony, it is a big part in trying to find a cure and helping those with the disease she said.
“The Cancer Society does a lot of things to help people,” she shared. “They do put a lot of money in to research and finding a cure but they also help people by giving them a place to stay and a support network.”
There is a place in Vancouver where individuals suffering from the disease who are seeking treatment can stay for $44 a day.
That includes three meals Hobenshield explained and sometimes they can do even more for people.
That knowledge inspired Hobenshield to take the event in Hazelton to the next level she said and two years ago she opened a bank account at the Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Hazelton
“A few years ago we started an account called Gifts from others,” she said. “This is for people who can’t afford to go and get treatment.
Our community has so many people with cancer and many of them can’t afford to get anywhere so we wanted to find a way to help them out.”
She also added that the bank account was also important to have as it is a place where people can donate all year long.
“In the past I would send all the money raised from the event to COPS for Cancer as it’s another great fundraiser,” she said. “But now we will be putting half of the years donations into the bank account.”
This year, she raised the most amount of money yet which she attributes to the addition of a raffle as well as the return of the Demolition Cars for Cancer which she held a few years back.
“This year’s turn out awesome!” she stated.
“We raised $600 which is my best year yet and sold a total of 113 bags. I think the combination of luminaries, Scentsy raffle and cars for cancer was awesome. The Cars for Cancer was so cool. The kids loved the cars, which brought adults over, and once they realized why the cars were there, they paid to paint them.
“It turned out great.
“Sam and Gil Turner, Jaclyn and Keith Whitecotton, Gerald Whitecotton and his girlfriend Rena, were all responsible for that and I cannot thank them and everyone who supported the event enough.”
For those who missed out on the Candles by the River this year, Hobenshield said she would like to remind everyone that they can donate any time by dropping in the New Hazelton Bulkley Valley Credit Union.