BUCKSPORT — Cancer touches everybody.
That’s the message that the Bucksport-based Cancer Support Center of Maine is trying to get out to people in Penobscot and Hancock counties.
The fledgling group, which began in February 2009, has a pair of purposes, according to executive director Barbara Vittum.
One is to provide emotional support and physical assistance, such as rides to appointments, for people battling cancer.
The other is educating people about how to lessen their risk of getting cancer. This includes avoiding tobacco products and eating healthier and exercising more, to reduce the possibility of obesity, which has been linked to cancer.
“It’s kind of obvious, but people don’t always think along those lines,” Vittum said.
Vittum, a cancer survivor, and a small group of others founded the Center “to help out our community,” she explained. The group, which is funded entirely by donations, has grown slowly but steadily, she added.
The Center’s big fundraiser is coming up, a dance-concert featuring The Real Deal Band at 7-11 p.m., Saturday, April 28, at Peakes Hill Lodge, 40 Peakes Hill Road in Dedham.
Kellie Boyd, owner of Peakes Hill Lodge, has lost family members to cancer, including her father, her father-in-law and her grandmother.
“Cancer affects a lot of people,” Boyd said. “They’re such a nice organization to do what they do, to help families in need. It’s such a good cause that I wanted to help out, so I’ve given them the hall.”
The members of the Real Deal Band, Doug Baker, Thomas Morelli and Peter Bradshaw, have long been part of the local music scene.
“We love being able to give back to the community that has so supported us as musicians for almost 40 years,” Morelli said. “Personally, I am a skin-cancer survivor, and my mother, Irma, is a breast-cancer survivor. I have a wife and daughter and two granddaughters, so I worry about their health as well. I cannot speak for the Doug and Peter, but they also have wives and children and are concerned for their futures as well.”
Tickets for the concert-dance are $10 and are available in advance at Frank’s Bakery, 193 State St., in Bangor or by calling the center at 469-6363 or at the door.