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Event raises money for breast cancer organization

September 10, 2006|By KAREN HANNA

WILLIAMSPORT

A mother-in-law. Friends. A beloved daughter, mother and niece.

Supporters at a fundraiser to help those with breast cancer and their families said Sunday that they have been touched by the disease.

"I lost a young daughter due to breast cancer," said Doris Glessner, co-chairwoman of Reaching for the Moon at Milestone Farm, which raises money for Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley Inc.

Glessner said she expected 350 people would turn out for the informal gala at a home in Williamsport. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships could raise about $35,000, she said.

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Joan Fell, executive director of Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley Inc., said Reaching for the Moon is one of the organization's four biggest fundraisers.

In the United States alone, 211,000 women and 1,700 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, Fell said.

"It's like every three minutes, there's someone diagnosed with breast cancer," Fell said.

Gary Palank, who greeted people with an enthusiastic smile and hearty handshake as they entered one room of the spacious home, said participants feel connected to the disease.

"My wife's mother died of breast cancer. I think obviously everyone has a connection. I think everybody's been touched in one way or another," said Palank, of Hagerstown.

Event co-chairman Dan Greenwald, 42, of Hagerstown, said he believes men need to acknowledge that breast cancer affects them, too.

"I think it's important that men get involved with breast cancer awareness, as well as women, because the reality is that cancer, in general, affects everyone," Greenwald said.

Greenwald said he first got involved in cancer fundraisers about five years ago. A testicular cancer survivor and avid bicyclist, he worked with the Lance Armstrong Foundation, he said.

After seeing her daughter, Paige Hershey, fight cancer, Glessner said she wanted to help make sure no patients faced the disease alone. Glessner said she, her sister and daughter's husband and friends all stood by Hershey.

Hershey left a husband and young child when she died, Glessner said.

"Our mission is so that no one goes through breast cancer alone," Glessner said.

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