Ephrata Cops in Pursuit of a Cure

By on October 7, 2015

The Ephrata Police Department is in pursuit and asking for the community’s help as they chase after a cure for breast cancer throughout the month of October.

Cops in Pursuit of a Cure is a fundraiser started by the department and staff that benefits the PA Breast Cancer Coalition.

Police Chief William Harvey said this came about when he was approached by staff members who wanted to do a project that benefited women and also showed the police department in a positive light.

“There is so much negativity going on throughout the United States today with police work and we wanted to do something positive and good to help others, other than in our traditional roles,” Harvey said. “They came to me with the idea of raising money for breast cancer and, of course, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we reached out to the PA Breast Cancer Coalition.”

Harvey said they had a meeting with the PBCC, learned how they could raise money and awareness, and the project took off from there.

The project was started less than a month ago by Karen Leisey, Stephanie Fasnacht and Nadine Carpenter. Lt. Chris McKim was also instrumental in getting things started. The threesome also said they appreciate all the support the department has given.

The official kickoff was the Ephrata Fair parade.

“Our goal is to raise $5,000 by Oct. 31,” Leisey said.

Leisey said the PA Breast Coalition’s mission is: “Finding a cure now, so our daughters won’t have to.”

“We kind of jumped on that and added granddaughters since some of us have granddaughters,” she said, “and I’m sure every single one of us that works here has been touched by some kind of cancer, whether they have personally dealt with it or have a relative that has.”

Leisey said they also chose the PA Breast Coalition because all the money will stay local.

According to information from the coalition, it is a statewide organization based in Lebanon with a board of directors, a staff of eight and a network of volunteers across the state. The PBCC exists to help the 12,000 women in Pennsylvania who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, to support the families of the 2,200 women who will lose their battle and to serve as a resource for the hundreds of thousands more women currently living with the disease.

They accomplish this through statewide educational programming, legislative advocacy and breast cancer research grants.

The threesome shared their personal reasons for starting the project.

“I lost my mother to breast cancer almost 25 years ago and I watched what this horrid disease did to her, what it did to her body and what it did to her emotionally,” Leisey said. “I also watched what it did to my dad and what it did to my whole family. So I’m doing it in memory of her.”

Simple words had a powerful effect on Fasnacht.

“After reading their (the PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s) slogan, ‘finding a cure now, so our daughters won’t have to,’ that really got to me. To help that happen, I’m going to try. That really affected me when I read that.”

Carpenter’s life has also been affected by cancer.

“My life was touched by cancer and I have granddaughters,” she said, “so I’m looking out for them.”

To make a donation, visit the website pbcc.me/epd. There will be a dropdown menu. You can select an individual team participant or the police department to make a donation. The amount will show up there and toward the department’s total goal, which is $5,000.

You can also donate by check; cash is not accepted. Checks should be made out to the Pennsylvania Breast Coalition and mailed to the police department at 124 S. State St., Ephrata, Pa. 17522.

As for if this will become an annual fundraiser, that depends on the success of this year’s event.

“We are hoping this is the start,” said Fasnacht. “We could possibly do it again or another cancer. Or maybe something like domestic violence.”

It is also depends on the community’s response.

“No amount is too little,” said Leisey.

For questions, call 738-9200 then press zero.

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