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Wings Week kicks off Saturday

| May 7, 2004 12:00 AM

The annual Wings Week fundraiser for Wings Regional Cancer Support kicks off Saturday with a Cinco de Mayo dinner at the Yaak River Tavern.

The Mexican buffet dinner starts at 6:30 with an auction to follow at 8. Admission is by $7 donation.

A centerpiece of the auction will be a quilt made by a group of Yaak women. The quilt was designed by Sharon Sullivan and Mary Ellen Solem and worked on by more than a dozen quilters meeting once a week and sewing by hand.

In addition to Sullivan and Solem, the women who worked on the quilt included Winnie Canavan, Delma Kneller, Camille Leidigh and her daughters, Cassia and Cherith, MaryAnn Scarbosio, Barbara Bauknight, Lynette Wilson, Jane Kelly, Kathy Berke, Judy Cyr, Sherrie Dailey, Molly Brown and Paula Breithautt.

The quilt is predominantly purple and white — the colors used in the Wings logo. The top of the quilt features the shape of the state of Montana with the word ³Wings² inside. A theme of interlocking hearts symbolizes the quilters putting their hearts into the project, Sullivan said.

³I am a cancer survivor so I understand the benefits of this program,² she said.

A group of Yaak residents has been raising money to bid on the quilt at the auction with the intent of keeping it in the community and displaying it at St. John¹s Lutheran Hospital, Sullivan said. As of Tuesday, the group had raised $1,500, she said.

For more information on the Cinco de Mayo dinner and auction, call the Yaak Mercantile at 295-5159 or the Yaak River Tavern at 295-4706.

The Wings Bowling Tournament will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11. Signup for the four-person team, no-tap tournament is $15 per person. For more information, call Peggy Craver at 293-7842,

Dollar Day in Libby and Troy will be Wednesday, May 12. Walkers will canvass the community seeking donations for Wings. Donations can also be dropped off at First National Bank in Libby and Troy.

Walkers will meet at 5 p.m. at the fire hall in Libby and at the park across from Morrison Elementary in Troy.

For more information on Dollar Day, call Connie Wood at 293-6228, Hildy Johnson at 295-4958 or Judy Orr at 295-4536.

On Saturday, May 15, the second annual Wings Variety Show will be held at the Memorial Center in Libby. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at Headlines or at Cabinet Books and Music, or at the door the night of the performance if the show is not sold out.

Wings provides assistance to help defray out-of-pocket expenses associated with cancer treatment that are not covered by insurance. Expenses covered by Wings include transportation, lodging and meals.

In 2003, Wings provided 93 people in Lincoln County with $49,692 in aid. Wings also provided $41,381 to 75 Flathead County residents and $3,852 to seven Lake County residents. Since 1997, Wings has provided $447,950 in assistance to 883 people.

One of the people currently being helped by Wings is Sandra Harmon of Libby. She was diagnosed in November with a rare form of breast cancer requiring aggressive treatment. The entire process takes about a year and includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Harmon will soon be starting a course of radiation treatment requiring her to travel to Kalispell for treatment five days a week for six weeks.

Harmon found out about Wings from a friend who had a relative who had received help from the organization. Wings will be helping her with travel and meal expenses associated with her treatment.

³It¹s an expense that would be very hard to do without the help of Wings,² she said.

A minimum of paperwork is required to receive assistance. Wings representative Connie Wood has been supportive and is always upbeat, Harmon said.

³All you have to do is fill out a piece of paper that says you went to Spokane or Seattle or wherever and how many meals you had and she does the rest,² Harmon said.

The support from Wings means there¹s one less thing to worry about during a stressful time, Harmon said.

³At least this one part is being helped,² she said. ³It¹s very much appreciated by the people I know of who have used it.²