Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc.

 

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Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. eclipses $300,000 milestone

By Chris Potter/Wellsville Daily Reporter

Posted Aug 29, 2019 at 12:16PM

BELMONT - Lori Ballengee can hardly believe the numbers.

Since Ballengee founded the Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. in 2006 after a battle with breast cancer, the nonprofit has helped almost 700 local residents, and recently hit a big round number in providing over $300,000 of services to Allegany County residents

"I'm honored but I'm also kind of horrified to tell you we just hit the $300,000 marked this year just about two weeks ago,"  Ballengee told the Allegany County Board of Legislators this week.  "We've given out over $300,000 of services and gasoline cards to individuals impacted by cancer in Allegany County in the 13 years we've been operating.  We've helped almost 700 county residents.  If you told me 13 years ago we would provide $300,000, I would have told you were crazy, especially because we're all volunteer with no grants, we just operate on the money we're given.

"I've said it a million times, Allegany County is the most generous county.  We help our own, we protect our own.  I just can't tell you how grateful we are."  Every community in Allegany County has been impacted by this dreadful disease - affecting family, friends and neighbors.

Ballengee is Allegany County's Public Health Director, but Allegany County Cancer Services is not affiliated with any government organization and receives zero taxpayer funding.

"It is a separate 501C(3) non-for-profit grassroots organization that I founded in 2006 after I went through a year of hell with breast cancer treatment and saw a lot of people suffering.  I know I needed to do something, so I found a very dedicated board of directors," Ballengee said.  "My board and all of our volunteers are 100 percent volunteers.  Nobody gets paid in Allegany County Cancer Services, not even mileage.  Nobody gets mileage reimbursement, we get nothing, so the only money we spend administratively is on a few office and fundraising supplies, that's it.  Our overhead is less than 3 percent.  We don't get any grants."

Ballengee credited the legislature and community for its steady support over the years.  The organisation has received donations from civic groups like the Eastern Star, the American Legion,  and the generosity of Allegany County residents and organizations.  The nonprofit helps Allegany County residents with transportation via gas cards to assist with their ongoing cancer treatment, and its mission is also to also increase awareness of early, life-saving screenings and treatment. Ballengee said "It is expensive to travel to and from medical facilities for treatment and worrying about putting gas in your car to get to treatment should not be an issue." The services are solely for residents of Allegany County New York and is on a one time basis.   For more information on eligibility and application for ACCS service go to their website at www.accsny.org

One of the organization's major fundraisers, the 8th Annual Kevin Memorial Gun-Sport Raffle, is coming up Saturday, September 21 at the Wellsville American Legion from 1-6 pm.  Tickets are now on sale for $20, which includes a ziti dinner and dessert.  The raffle includes a varieties of firearms and a crossbow, with 25 cash prizes totaling $1,000. There will also be floor raffles, a basket auction and 550/50's.  Other raffle items include four tickets to a St. Bonaventure basketball game, sports memorabilia, a custom shooting bench, a gas card and more.

Ballengee said proposed legislation  in Albany that would curtail gun raffles could have a crippling effect if it ever becomes law.  "We're hopeful we can continue to do this, because it does help us raise over a half a year's worth of gas cards," she said.

For more information call 585-593-1569 or visit www.accsny.org

Highland Park holds fundraiser for

Breast Cancer Awareness Month to benefit ACCS

The Highland Park Rehabilitation & Nursing Center staff held a Fall Festival on the facility grounds with the proceeds going to assist the Allegany County Cancer Services effort in Allegany County.  Hayrides, face painting, games bake sale, other food items, cider and donuts, scarecrow contests and picture booth were featured in this wonderful effort.  Staff, children and community members enjoyed an evening of holiday events and fun in support of ACCS.  A total of $517.50 was raised.   ACCS thanks the Highland Park staff, friends of the program and community for their support. 

Pictured above (L-R) Heather Morin (Highland Park Administrator), Tim Costello, Sandy Campbell, Kitty Pratt, Laurie Van Wagner, Teresa Kuhn, Amy Mohr, Pam Zimmerman, Tammy Munro, Alisa Swartz, Mark Foland, Kim Slawson, Dan Kincaid, Josh Graham)

Allegany County Treasurers Office Staff holds holiday fundraiser to benefit ACCS

The Allegany County Treasurer's Office held a "Decorate Your Door" seasonal fundraiser with the proceeds going to the Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. This effort raised $605.50 for ACCS, Inc. Proceeds of this effort will assist the Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. in providing gas cards to those Allegany County residents who are impacted by cancer to travel to and from medical treatment. The winner of the best looking office door was Pam Cockle. ACCS, Inc. thanks the Allegany County Treasures Office for this creative event and their support of ACCS, Inc. Pictured in this years effort (L-R) are Terri Ross, Pam Cockle, Jen McMahon, Jenna Kelly, Daniel White, Kim Dobmeir

Fillmore Central School Sports Boosters hold October benefit to raise funds for ACCS

The Fillmore Central School Sports Boosters held a month long pink-t-shirt sale with $1,680 being raised to benefit ACCS, Inc..  Pictured (L-R) are Kari Mancuso, Fillmore Sports Boosters, Lori Ballengee, ACCS, and Maggie Smith, Fillmore Sports Boosters.

The 5th Annual  Amy Drake Memorial 5k Walk/Run Donates Funds to Allegany County Cancer Services

The 5th Annual Amy Drake Memorial 5K Walk/Run was held in Angelica, NY last fall.  This effort is the commitment  of Amy Drake's sister, Tiffany Gordon, to share a dedication and awareness and support of women and their families that have been impacted by breast cancer.   $1,350 was raised in this year's effort with proceeds being donated to ACCS.   Pictured above (L-R) Tiffany Gordon and ACCS Board President Lori Ballengee.

Genesee Valley Central  School goes pink for ACCS

Genesee Valley Central School faculty and staff members held their "Go Pink" day on October 25th, 2018, and raised $207 to donate to Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. ACCS wishes to express their sincere gratitude to GVCS for their generous donation.

Andover Haunted House donates "Haunted for Hooters" proceeds

Bob Myers (right) presented a check from the Andover Haunted House's annual Haunted For Hooters event to ACCS's Rod Ballengee (left) .  The annual event raised $1500, which will be utilized by ACCS to purchase gas cards for Allegany County residents impacted by cancer to get to and from treatment. ACCS wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to the Andover Haunted House for their continued annual support.

Wellsville American Legion Post 702 donates breakfast proceeds to  ACCS

Wellsville American Legion Post 702 donated the proceeds of a breakfast buffet they hosted on October 7th, 2018 to Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. ACCS wishes to express their sincere gratitude to the Legion for their generous donation, and a special Thank You to Auxiliary member Yvonne Simmons. 

Wellsville American Legion Post 702 presents check to  ACCS

The Wellsville American Legion Post 702 donated $3,000 to Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc., acquired from fundraising events throughout the year by the Legion, Sons of the American Legion, the Legion Riders and the Legion Auxiliary.  Lori Ballengee, center, ACCS, Inc. founder, accepted the check from Auxillary President Sandy Smith, at left, and Post Commander Brent Roberts, at right.  In back from left are, Rider Director Dennis White, Auxiliary member Yvonne Simmons, ACCS Board members Rod Ballengee and Jody Ralyea, and at far right Fred Roberts, Commander of the local Sons of the American Legion.

Allegany County Probation Department raises funds for  ACCS

A game challenge was just one of the Allegany County Probation Department's  activities to  help raise funds for ACCS, Inc.

The Allegany County Probation Department held their 3rd Annual Fundraiser May 24, at noon on the front lawn of the County Courthouse in Belmont and raised more than $700 to help cancer services. Lunch was available for a $5 donation and included a hot dog, a bottle of water, bag of chips and a candy bar. Hot dogs and buns were donated by Criss Market of Belmont.

Events held during the one hour lunch break included a game challenge where the highest, second highest and lowest scores won gift certificates. There also was a candy jar guessing game and a 50/50 raffle.

Funds raised totaled $740.00 and were donated to Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc.

Genesee Valley Central School Art Students Donate

Art Show and Sale Proceeds

Kristin Buchholz & art students of Genesee Valley Central School held an art show and sale, and donated the proceeds to ACCS.

Alfred State Women's Softball Team Donates Funds to Allegany County Cancer Services

Pictured is Susan Denillo, Coach of the women’s softball team at Alfred State - presenting the fundraising proceeds to ACCS, Inc. Board President, Lori Ballengee. 

The Alfred State College Women’s Softball team sold bracelets at home games. They raised $250 and  donated these proceeds to ACCS.

Amy Drake Memorial 5k Walk/Run Donates Funds to Allegany County Cancer Services

Pictured are Spencer and Alexis Drake, children of Amy Drake - presenting a check for the fundraising proceeds to ACCS, Inc. Board Member, Rod Ballengee. 

Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. (ACCS, Inc) was the beneficiary of funds raised by the Amy Drake Memorial 5k Walk/Run held in Angelica, NY.  This effort is the commitment of Amy Drake’s sister, Tiffany Gordon, to share a dedication, awareness and support of women and their families that have been impacted by breast cancer.  In addition to the proceeds raised by this annual event, the Amy Drake Memorial effort recently held a fundraising event at a Genesee Valley Central HS basketball game. All proceeds that have been provided by these events will go towards the purchase of gasoline cards by ACCS, Inc. to assist individuals and families for transportation to cancer treatment.   

 

The Amy Drake Memorial 5k Walk/Run is held each October, coinciding with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

New York State University Police at Alfred State College Donate Funds to Allegany County Cancer Services

Pictured Left to Right: Lt. Kris Bianchi, CPSO Craig Heller, Rod Ballengee (ACCS),  Lt. Scott Bingham, and Officer Corwin Mackney.

The staff at the NYS University Police at Alfred State College held a fundraiser last month for "No-Shave November." The goal of No-Shave November is to increase awareness by growing hair, which many cancer patients lose. Participants pay money to cease shaving during the month, and the money is donated to an organization that supports cancer patients. This year, Alfred State College Police chose Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. to support with their donation. Lori Ballengee, ACCS Founder and Board President notes, "It's organizations like the Alfred State College Police staff that help us to help county residents. This $660 donation will go a long way in helping our families, friends and neighbors. We couldn't be more grateful that they chose us to support, when there are so many other worthy causes."

4th Annual Alfred State College Women's

Volleyball Team Dig Pink Event

The 4th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness effort by the Alfred State College Women's Volleyball Team this year was entitled "Spike for the Cause, Dig for the Cure."  All proceeds from the sale of t-shirts and a "Pie in the Face" contest will be donated to Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc.    ACCS, Inc. thanks and appreciates the efforts of the Alfred State Women's Volleyball team and coaching staff for their continued support.

3rd Annual Amy Drake Memorial 5K

The 3rd Annual Amy Drake Memorial 5K Walk was held on October 14, 2017 in Angelica, NY. The Walk is dedicated to Angelica resident Amy Drake, who was taken by cancer. Over 90 participants and organizers participated in this annual event. Proceeds of the event are shared with Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc.

8th Annual Haunted for Hooters Walk/Run

ACCS appreciates the continued support of the Andover Haunted House Committee and Volunteers and the participants in this year's event.

Allegany County Probation Department

 Presents Donation to ACCS

A dreary and damp May 25th did not diminish the spirits of the Allegany County Probation Department.  This was the day of the lunch hour “Carnivale For A Cure” on the lawn of the Courthouse to benefit Allegany County Cancer Services.  The Probation Department, led by Director Bob Starks and organized by Jody Ralyea, chose to re-create the successful “Lunch N Dunk” from the 2016 ACCS Decade of Colors Celebration, in which teams from Allegany County employers were created to compete in fundraising and other activities to benefit ACCS.  Last year the Lunch N Dunk event raised $750, with contributions from the Belmont Fire Department (loaning the dunk tank and filling it) and from Criss Market (which donated the hot dogs and buns).  This year’s event saw the dunk tank come from Immaculate Conception School, with the tank again filled by Belmont Fire Department.  Criss Market again donated the hot dogs and buns and WalMart of Olean donated water for the lunch.  Probation Supervisor and ACCS Treasurer, Jody Ralyea shared “We received many comments from county employees last year how nice it was to have an event such as this – to see employees from various departments sharing lunch on the lawn and having a good time, all to benefit a great cause.  So we decided a repeat performance was in order.  Despite the weather, which cleared off long enough to get set up and halfway through the event, we were able to donate $690 in proceeds from this event to Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc.   Our gratitude goes to Cory Higby and Liz Gugino, our awesome ”dunkees”, and to Criss Market, Belmont Fire Department, WalMart of Olean, ICS, and the Allegany County Maintenance Department for their contributions to our event.  We have a great group of Probation Department employees who put a lot of planning and effort into this event.  We enjoyed putting together a fun celebration for a wonderful organization which helps Allegany County residents with their cancer treatment travel expenses.  We are grateful to Allegany County Cancer Services for what they do for Allegany County residents - this was an opportunity for us to give back and say thank you.”

Front row left to right:  Lori Ballengee (President and founder of ACCS), Bob Starks (Probation Director), Rod Ballengee (ACCS board member). Second row: Jody Ralyea (ACCS treasurer/Probation), Tom House. 3rd row: Tami Kellogg, Sara Mahoney, Terry Rose. Back rows:  Becky Hanchett, Jessica McKnight, Stefanie Lavery, Richelle Nichols, Christine Morsman and Scott Grantier. Missing from photo: Ernie Rositzke and Carey Brown (Probation) and Ken Ralyea (Photographer/ACCS Webmaster).

Wellsville American Legion Post 702 Representatives Present Donation to ACCS

The Wellsville American Legion Post 702 donated $3,470.00 to Allegany County Cancer Services at the 350 club event Saturday, April 22,2017. The check was presented to Lori Ballengee- director of Allegany County Cancer Services by legion members from left: Dennis White - Riders Commander, Jackie Merrick, Louanne Cornell, Brent Roberts- Legion Commander, Sandra Smith- Auxiliary President, Yvonne Simmons- 1st Vice Auxiliary, Fred Roberts IV - Sons Commander, Jon Elliott- Sons Finance. 

2nd Annual Amy Drake Memorial 5k  Event Representatives Present Donation to ACCS

Left to Right: Rod Ballengee (ACCS), Konrad Gordon, Ethan Gordon, Spencer Drake, Lori Ballengee (ACCS), Alexis Drake, Arianna Gordon, Cali Gordon, Jody Ralyea (ACCS)

The Genesee Valley Central School Sports Boosters held its 2nd Annual Amy Drake Memorial 5k Run to benefit the Sports Boosters and Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc.   Students, faculty, friends and citizens came together to participate in the 5K event in honor and memory of Angelica resident Amy Drake, who lost her battle with cancer.  The Genesee Valley Central Sports Boosters generously donated $1,000 to ACCS, Inc. which will be used to provide gas cards to individuals from Allegany County who have been diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing treatment.

2nd Annual Amy Drake Memorial 5k  Event ACCS Pink Basket winner announced

Left to Right: Rod Ballengee (ACCS), Lori Ballengee (ACCS), Sharon Nease, Jody Ralyea (ACCS)

5th Annual Kevin Myers Memorial Gun/Sport Raffle & Holiday Basket Auction Great Success!

Left to Right: Lesley Davis, Phil Myers, Chloe Myers, Kelly Myers, Amanda Myers. Lower Right Inset: Kevin Myers

Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. held its 5th Annual Kevin Myers Memorial Gun & Sports Raffle  at the Cuba VFW on December 3, 2016.  Pictured are members of Kevin's family and friends who were in attendance of this year's event.  The event honors Kevin Myers, a Fillmore, NY resident, who was very supportive of the ACCS foundation and its effort to assist Allegany County, NY residents who are impacted by cancer.  Kevin lost his battle with cancer in 2012.  

Bolivar-Richburg Girls Volleyball Team Raises Funds For Breast Cancer Awareness

Members of the Bolivar-Richburg Girls Volleyball Team raised $300 for breast cancer.  Donations were provided at home volleyball games during October, with all team members wearing pink uniforms to show their support for breast cancer awareness.  Senior team members led the fundraising effort by taking pink donation cans into the stands and requesting donations.  The team is coached by Demi Elliot who indicated that the team members decided to donate these funds to the Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. program to assist in providing individuals from Allegany County that are diagnosed with cancer with gas cards to help with travel to and from cancer treatment.

Senior team member Lydia Crump shared the hope that this fundraising effort will help women impacted by cancer and also provide the community with a better awareness of the disease.  The team expressed their hopes that the funds raised will assist ACCS in providing support and awareness to Allegany County residents impacted by cancer.  Seniors Katie Freeman and Brittany Button shared their appreciation to those in attendance at the home games where the funds were raised.  Team seniors thanked the community for helping the Wolverines “Block Out Cancer.”

Pictured from left front are:  Coach Demi Elliot, Lydia Crump, Hannah Clark, Julie Brennfleck, Aliya Perrin, Tricia Gallagaher, Katie Freeman. Back row: Isabella Gordon, Fiona Pope, Brittany Button, Hadley Ferris, Naomi Cook, Rod Ballengee, ACCS. Not pictured: Macy Childs.

Andover Haunted House

donates proceeds from

Haunted for Hooters event

Lori Ballengee, center, Chair and President of ACCS, accepts funds from representatives of the Andover Haunted House Committee's "Haunted for Hooters 5K Walk/Run" event. This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Andover Haunted House. Many thanks to Bob Myers and his staff for their dedication and support.

Andover Central School

Introduction to Occupation class fundraising efforts

Chair of ACCS Lori Ballengee, far right, accepts funds Andover Central students raised as part of a community service project. From left, the students who organized the project are sophomores Hunter Greene and Alexus McCollough and sophomore class President Logan Graham.

(Photo courtesy Kathryn Ross/ Wellsville Daily Reporter)

Choirs For The Cure

 

ACCS Representative Rod Ballengee accepts a check from Cody Hampton, Wellsville Central School vocal director and Noreen Ferris, Bolivar-Richburg Central School vocal director, representing the donations collected from the April 6th "Choirs for the Cure" concert held at the Bolivar-Richburg Central School. The combined choirs of the Wellsville Central School and Bolivar-Richburg Central School performed for an audience of over 700. The donations raised at this event (over $1600) were presented to ACCS to assist in the purchase of gas cards for those Allegany County residents impacted by cancer.

Youngster donates $300-plus to Allegany County Cancer Services Inc.

 

By Kathryn Ross
Daily Reporter


Posted Apr. 7, 2016 at 4:25 PM

Wellsville, N.Y.

 

WELLSVILLE — A real American Girl, Rilea Wenslow gave up gifts for her seventh birthday in favor of donations for Allegany County Cancer Services Inc.

 

Rilea turned 7 on Feb. 21. At a fancy birthday tea party with her friends at the Duke House Tea Room & Bakery she raised nearly $300 for the local organization. She added funds of her own (mostly savings from the Tooth Fairy) to make a total donation of $303.01.

 

Lori Ballengee, chairman and founder of Allegany County Cancer Services Inc. thought it was just wonderful, and spent nearly 45 minutes talking with the youngster.

 

"This will go a long way toward helping people in our county. It isn't every little girl who would give up their birthday presents for others. I'm very proud of you," Ballengee told Rilea when she accepted the donation Tuesday night.

"You're a very special little girl," she added.

 

The skeptic may wonder about how a first-grade student would come up with such an idea, but Rilea told The Daily Reporter, "I didn't want any presents for my birthday, so instead I wanted to donate money to cancer services because I have an Aunt Paula (Frungillo - DOD 2009) and an Uncle Dale (Adams - DOD 2009) who both had cancer and I never got to know them."

 

Frungillo died from brain cancer and Adams succumbed to leukemia, Wendy Wenslow said.

Rilea is a first grade student at Immaculate Conception School in Wellsville. Her parents are Richard and Wendy Wenslow. She has a brother, Christian, 5.

 

Her favorite subject is spelling. She also likes to draw and makes several cards nearly every night. She also likes movies and is looking forward to seeing 'Zootopia' this weekend. Her favorite activities are riding the Belgian horses her father owns, particularly Lucy, and drawing — "but I can't draw horses," she said.

 

She also enjoys playing with her American Girl dolls, of which her favorite is "Kit." Her hair is cut like Kit's. At the Duke House tea party the girls dressed up and played with their American Girl dolls when they weren't eating cupcakes she said.

 

Rilea was going to receive another American Girl doll to add to her collection (she has three) for her birthday, but "She gave it up because she wanted the money to go toward the donation to Allegany County Cancer Services Inc," her mom said.

 

When asked why it was important to her to make such a donation, Rilea said, "God wants us to do it."

 

According to Ballengee, the donation will go toward the purchase of gas cards Allegany County Cancer Services Inc. issues to county residents who have to travel to receive treatment for cancer. Celebrating its 10th year this June, Allegany County Cancer Services Inc. (an all volunteer organization) has distributed more than $180,000 in gas cards and other contributions to those county residents who are struggling with cancer treatment, Ballengee said.

 

A ‘Decade of Colors’ event is being planned for June 11, to commemorate the anniversary of the organization.

Quilt raffle proceeds to benefit Allegany County Cancer Services

The Schoolhouse Quilters Guild of Wellsville has created a quilt for Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. to raffle. WELLSVILLE DAILY REPORTER

            http://www.wellsvilledaily.com/news/20160308/quilt-raffle-proceeds-to-benefit-allegany-county-cancer-services

 

Posted Mar. 8, 2016 at 1:28 PM 

Wellsville, N.Y.

 

WELLSVILLE — The Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. (ACCS) has had a handmade quilt donated by The Schoolhouse Quilters Guild of Wellsville. The handmade quilt is to be raffled off and proceeds of the raffle to assist ACCS. Proceeds will assist in the provision of gas cards to people from Allegany County who are receiving ongoing cancer treatment.

 

The ACCS board said it would like to acknowledge and express its appreciation to Schoolhouse Guild members Ginnie LaForge, Carole Bohne, Bonnie Enke, Geralyn Gough, Sue Johnson, Diane Lanzo, Martha McGee, Carolyn Miller, Barbara Savins, Katie Truax, Judie Ryczek, Carol Stewart and Lyn Voorhees for all of the hard work and effort that went into producing the gorgeous quilt.

 

The quilt is one of the recently completed 2015 projects from the Schoolhouse Quilters Guild and will now be raffled off with proceeds going to support ACCS efforts in Allegany County.

 

ACCS will be selling raffle tickets at $5 each or three for $10 and will be made available throughout the coming year. The drawing will be held during the ACCS fall fundraiser. For tickets or more information, contact Lori Ballengee, ACCS, at (585) 593-1569 or e-mail her at ballenl@alleganyco.com or go to the ACCS website, http://www.accsny.org.

Dewey's Employees Donate proceeds from Hunting Bow Raffle

Lori Ballengee, Founder of ACCS accepts a donation from the employees of Dewey's Mini Mart and East End Market - proceeds from their 2 month crossbow raffle. Additional thanks to the winner, Brad Landon of Hornell, for his additional donation.

Alfred Almond Youth Baseball League  Fundraiser

Jody Ralyea, Treasurer of ACCS accepts a donation from Jen Smith, representing the Alfred Almond Youth Baseball League. Thanks to everyone that helped make their Chicken BBQ a great success, and a huge "Thank You" to the Alfred Almond Youth Baseball League for their generous contribution.

Wellsville Immaculate Conception School

Student Ribbon

Young Racer Gives Away Winnings

Rod Ballengee of Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. accepts a donation from go-kart racer Garrett Miller Saturday night at the Allegany Memorial Speedway. KATHRYN ROSS/DAILY REPORTER

                             http://www.wellsvilledaily.com/article/20141014/News/141019894#ixzz3GDMOXfn9

 

Posted Oct. 14, 2014 @ 11:26 am 

Wellsville, N.Y.

By Kathryn Ross

Daily Reporter

 

ALLENTOWN — For most kids, go-kart racing is a big thing and winning an even greater thrill, but a Friendship youth has taken it one step further.

 

On a brisk autumn night Saturday, the racing season at the Allegany Memorial Speedway in Allentown came to an end with just a few stalwart drivers participating in each class. Among them was Garrett Miller, a 9-year-old from Friendship, who has been racing at the track for the last two years. He is the son of Jada Beardsley and Jason Miller, who both support their son’s love of racing.

 

A fourth-grade student at Friendship Central School, Garrett’s favorite NASCAR driver is Dale Earnhardt Jr. and when he isn’t behind the wheel of his go-kart, he enjoys baseball, playing Space Ball, playing in the fort his uncle had built for him and hunting with that same uncle — an uncle who is terminally ill with pancreatic cancer.

 

"Garrett knows in his head that he won’t have his uncle much longer, but in his heart he wants to help. He has a kind little heart," said his mom, as she watched her son roar around the dirt track at heart-stopping speeds.

 

Both of Garrett’s cars are emblazoned with pink stripes for cancer awareness, so under the blazing track lighting, he’s easy to pick out as he races by.

 

The racing season began in April at the Allentown track and boys and girls and men and women of all ages have competed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for cash prizes.

 

According to his father, Garrett has had between 10 and 12 first-place wins over the six-month season and has collected $300 in prize money.

 

On Saturday night, Garrett handed over an envelope with $300 in it to Rod Ballengee, who was standing in for his wife, Lori Ballengee, chairman and founder of Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc., who was indisposed.

 

When asked why he donated his winnings, Garrett, who had already won his first two heats and who was eager to get to his next race, said, "Because some of my family members have cancer and I just wanted to help other people who have cancer."

 

Beardsley explained that Garrett’s grandfather had cancer and now his uncle, who lives with them, has cancer.

 

"He knows what people go through," she said adding that Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. has helped by giving the family gas cards when those with cancer were undergoing treatment.

 

"He wishes this donation would save his uncle, but Garrett knows it will help someone. I’m very proud of him and that he wanted to do this with his winnings," said Beardsley.

 

Watching the go-karts racing by, Ballengee commented, "I drive by here all the time, but I never realized all this was going on. How great it is to see the kids involved with something like this."

 

As for the donation, he said, "I imagine it is expensive to keep the car running, so it is really amazing that this boy is willing to give up his winnings to help other people. We’ll make sure that people know, because there are adults who don’t, that there are kids like Garrett who give back to the community."

 

Ballengee went on to say that, ironically, the funds Garrett contributed from winning go-kart races will be given to people in the form of gas cards to use for purchasing fuel when they have to travel outside the county for cancer treatments.

 

To date, Allegany County Cancer Services has served over 361 people, providing more than $142,000 in services.

 

According to the Allegany County Memorial Speedway website, Garrett Miller came in fifth for the season in overall points for the youth division.

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