Unique Presque Isle rooftop rally to benefit cancer patients

Posted May 14, 2012, at 3:06 p.m.
Last modified May 14, 2012, at 5:45 p.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — An Aroostook County hospital this week will launch a unique campaign to raise money to improve the quality of care for cancer patients and garner more money for research.

The Aroostook Medical Center and Cumulus Broadcasting Radio Stations in The County are teaming up to hold the “Rally on the Roof” beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. The 24-hour event will run until 9 a.m. Friday. By the time the rooftop is cleared, organizers hope to have raised more than $5,000 to benefit Cancer Care Services at TAMC and the Aroostook County Relay for Life.

Jason Parent, director of advancement for TAMC, and Lisa Miles, general manager for Cumulus Broadcasting in Presque Isle, will camp out on the TAMC roof above the Giberson Day Surgery Unit for the full 24 hours. The two will broadcast on the radio through the day, encouraging listeners to donate and providing updates to the community on their progress. The roof rally also will be monitored live on the TAMC website at www.tamc.org/rooftop.

As part of the fundraising effort, community members are encouraged to pay to have a “rooftop warrant” issued for the “arrest” of someone they would like to see spend some time on the roof.

For $150, a donor can have someone “arrested” and taken away in a decommissioned Crown Ambulance that will serve as the paddy wagon. Upon arrival at the hospital the accused will go before a mock court to be sentenced to serve time on the roof. While on the roof, it will be the person’s responsibility to raise bail by calling friends and family.

Miles said organizers want people to make donations online and call pledges. They also are encouraging co-workers to pool their money to have their boss “arrested” or members of community and civic groups to do the same and have one of their members spend time on the roof.

Parent and Miles are prepared for inclement weather. Lowe’s of Presque Isle is sponsoring the rooftop deck, complete with patio furniture, and Tompkins Plumbing and Heating of Presque Isle has donated an upscale portable toilet for the event. The deck also will keep the accused comfortable until they raise their bail.

“I’ve been involved in a number of fundraisers, but I’d have to say this is the most unique,” Parent said. “In addition to the good fun, the best part about what we are doing is the great cause which the proceeds go toward. Aroostook Cancer Care is a vitally important service TAMC provides to the region. Without it, area residents would have to travel to Bangor to get the same comprehensive care. Not only would that present a tremendous financial hardship, but for many patients a very difficult physical challenge as well.”

To add to the festivities, TAMC’s team, “Raise of Hope,” which will participate in the Aroostook County Relay for Life on June 1 and 2, will hold a block party 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday. Relay For Life is a major fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

The community is invited to attend the block party, complete with a barbecue and band, in the area in front of the Giberson Day Surgery unit. Proceeds from the barbecue will benefit the Relay for Life.

Radio broadcasts of the “Rally on the Roof” can be heard throughout the day on the Cumulus Broadcasting Radio stations WQHR-FM 96.1, Q96; WBPW-FM 96.9, Hot Country 97; and WOZI-FM 101.9, 102 FM The Rock.

Anyone interested in making a donation or issuing a “Rooftop Warrant” may do so anytime in advance of the event or during the rally by visiting the TAMC website or calling the TAMC Charities office at 768-4858.

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