Surviving Hearts to hold 9th annual fundraiser

Dr. Sarah Bolender, a St. Luke’s oncologist, plans to attend the 2024 Surviving Hearts fundraiser. Her husband, Kevin Carlson, above, checks out some of the items that were up for bid during last year’s event, which benefits cancer patients. Photo courtesy of Surviving Hearts
Philip A. Janquart
The 9th annual Surviving Hearts fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, April 27. 
 This year the cancer support nonprofit is hosting a traditional Hawaiian luau at Sunnyside Farm and Events, located at 1526 Sunnyside Road south of Weiser, off Highway 95.
 Live entertainment will be provided by the “Ukeladies” who will perform traditional Hawaiian music. 
 There will also be a live and silent auction and a full bar provided by Legends on Main.
 Social hour begins at 4 p.m. Dinner, which will be served at 5 p.m., includes a traditional Hawaiian menu.
 “S&A BBQ out of Cambridge is preparing a whole pig,” said Surviving Hearts founder and President Shellie Colvard.
 Steve and Angie Bumgarner have owned and operated S&A Catering since 2012.
 St. Luke’s Radiation Oncology Specialist, Dr. Sarah Bolender, will be attending the event, according to Colvard. Bolender is widely known among cancer patients in Surviving Hearts’ service area.
 Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased using a credit or debit card by calling (208) 781-1778. You can also get them at Horizon Credit Union within Ridley’s in Weiser, or purchase them at the door.
 All funds benefit the nonprofit’s services and programs. 
 The group’s mission is, “to aid any cancer patients and survivors with whatever is necessary to ease the burdens they may endure.”
 Some of the services the organization provides include gas cards so patients and their families can get to doctor’s appointments and treatments. They also provide food and have assisted with crucial expenses such as power bills. The group has even helped with car repairs.
 “If you don’t have a car, you can’t get to your treatment,” Colvard said. “We’ve done that several times.”
 Surviving Hearts helps families to obtain daily items that many take for granted, such as hygiene products.
 “We give out gift cards to Walmart, so they can get certain necessities,” Colvard said. “We’ve also done Thanksgiving and Christmas for families. We spent $2,500 on Christmas last year for three families. They gave us a list of things they needed, and we went to Costco and filled up three carts. It was awesome. We had a great time filling everyone’s Christmas wishes. It was very rewarding for us.”
 Colvard and her volunteers also helped provide Thanksgiving dinner for several families.
 Last year, they assisted a woman who didn’t think she would make it to Christmas.
 “She had stage-four breast cancer and didn’t think she would be around, so she got rid of all of her stuff,” Colvard explained. “But then, she started getting better, feeling better. She moved into a little apartment, but didn’t have anything. She asked for a pot and a pan. We bought her a whole set and she took a selfie of her opening that, and that was pretty cool.”
 Surviving Hearts also provides gift bags for St. Luke’s Hospital that contain things like shampoo, lotion, a journal, adult coloring book, puzzle book, scarf, socks, and other items.
 “We have expanded our territory, too,” Colvard said. “Aside from Washington County, we are also doing Union, Wallowa, Baker, and Malheur counties. We do it because we can hardly ever say no and there is a huge need.”
 Colvard said the organization can only do what it does thanks to her loyal group of volunteers.
 “They do a great job and none of this would be possible without them,” she said. “Our volunteers and our fundraisers are crucial in being able to provide our services.”


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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