Pondy Cancer Warriors reach fundraising goal

Group of Cancer Warrior Walkers, 2018.

By Lucas Vader

Staff Writer

Amidst further continuing uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions it brings, Barbara Hladik, co-owner of the Pondy, said the annual Cancer Warriors fundraiser will still happen but at a limited capacity.

First and foremost, Cancer Warriors will launch this year on July 10 with the annual Mexican Food Dinner, which will cost $12 per person and is an all-you-can-eat event. Dinner will be served from 4-8 p.m.

“You know, when people come through the door, no one has ever really complained about the price because it’s all you can eat for $12, and if there’s little, little ones and they eat off their Mom and Dad’s plate anyway, that’s fine, but most people pay for their kids too.”

People tend to be relatively generous and donate on top of ticket prices as well, Hladik said, due to the diverse range of people who have been affected by cancer.

This year, due to the restrictions, Hladik said it would be appreciated if people called ahead for seating at the Mexican Food Dinner, as they will reach full regulated capacity in the Pondy ballroom quicker this year. Though recommended, calling ahead is not required.

Due to the reduced capacity, the crew is prepared to make it easy to come in to get the food to then take it elsewhere on the premises to eat, whether that’s in the dance hall, the bar area or the beer garden out back.

The restrictions for seating will follow whichever guidelines are in place as of that day.

With the event will be a prize pool, which will collect further donations for the cause.

This year, as everything is already different, the Cancer Warriors fundraising will support Alisha Komives, former executive director of the Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce.

Komives suffers from Arnold-Chiari Malformation, which is a structural defect in the cerebellum which causes severe neurological issues. This has caused much pain, loss of mobility, multiple seizures and some surgery for Komives, particularly recently. The medical bills, due to her illness, have been high and persistent.

“They have a lot of expenses,” Hladik said. “And since she was part of our team, we’ve decided that we want to raise money for her this year.”

Cancer Warriors has always created a multi-piece fundraising period for high medical expenses. Most of those pieces are still planned to happen this summer. The main things that may be lacking, according to Hladik, are the day on the Mesa and the Round Robin, which normally includes horseshoes, darts and other festivities. Even now, she’s not certain. It will depend on what regulations are in place in August, mainly.

“We may still do that if we get to play games by then,” Hladik said in reference to the Round Robin. As time goes on, it will become more certain which events will still happen.

At this time, the Cancer Warrior Walk is still planned for Aug. 1, and should be able to take place downtown as usual. Hladik said they are hoping at this time to tie that event in with the Serenity Run weekend but has not found out whether that is happening to its full extent this year.

“We’re just not doing as many events this year,” Hladik said, “because we’re limited and we got a late start because of all this closure, so we’re just going to make it a little bit smaller and still do whatever we can.”

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