Giving back to help a cause that’s close to the hearts of customers and employees is what “Fueling the Fight” is all about for Blue Ridge Energies, the propane subsidiary of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation.
Breast cancer has touched the lives of most everyone in some way and for the past twelve months, Blue Ridge Energies has delivered propane in pink painted trucks to show support for breast cancer awareness, and raise funds at the same time.
This month, local breast cancer related charities are the recipients of the year-long effort that started last October when Blue Ridge Energies began designating a penny for every gallon of propane delivered by the pink trucks to area homes and businesses.
In Ashe County, the Women in Touch Endowment is the recipient of $3,462. According to Ashe Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, Nancy Kautz, the donation will be used to provide breast cancer interventions and treatment for local women who lack insurance or necessary financial resources.
Funds will help provide mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies, prostheses, wigs, and outreach educational activities. While the endowment was started for women, it also assists men fighting breast cancer.
“We are so grateful for this project and also for the foresight of breast cancer survivors who 15 years ago began the Women in Touch Endowment fund,” Kautz said.
The fund is managed through the Ashe County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the N.C. Community Foundation, and enables the principle to grow while distributing a portion of earnings each year to help cancer survivors in Ashe County.
Over the years, the fund has provided a safety net for cancer survivors and their families when no other options were available. It has paid for numerous medical treatments, mammograms, diagnostic work and prostheses for cancer survivors.
“As the fund continues to grow, someday, no one in Ashe County will even have to think about going without diagnosis, treatment or support for cancer because of financial issues,” Kautz said.
“Our donation in Ashe County is being made in honor of Shelby Hartzog, who helped us kick off our pink truck and cancer awareness effort,” said Glenda Christian, chief operating officer of Blue Ridge Energies.
“Shelby lost her battle with breast cancer this year, but she was an inspiration to others during her seven-year fight, and she gave credit to her faith in God and support from family and friends,” Christian said.
Local organizations like “Women in Touch” help breast cancer patients through difficult, often frightening, times. “We are so fortunate to have an organization like Women in Touch serving local residents,” Christian said.
“That’s why we’re proud to support this effort and to help make a difference in the lives of those affected by this disease. This has been a year of constant awareness for those of us at Blue Ridge Energies: seeing the pink truck leave our parking lot each day has been a strong reminder of the fight at hand faced by so many people in our communities,” Christian added.