11th annual Brewfest to boost cancer fund

Posted 7/24/19

The 11th annual Brewfest at the Port Townsend Brewery offers Jefferson County residents the chance to enjoy local beer and food, dance, and support local cancer patients at the same time.

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11th annual Brewfest to boost cancer fund

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The 11th annual Brewfest at the Port Townsend Brewery offers Jefferson County residents the chance to enjoy local beer and food, dance, and support local cancer patients at the same time.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the Edensaw Community Cancer Foundation, which was founded in 2007 by the owners and employees of Edensaw Woods Ltd. to help East Jefferson County cancer patients.

Most Edensaw employees donate part of their paycheck to the fund, which allows Edensaw to cover the overhead costs of the 501(c)(3) non-profit and all of the community donations to go back to the community, according to Edensaw marketing director Rick Halsted.

The funds can be used to help cover everything from cancer treatment to utility bills and transportation costs to and from medical appointments, food and nutritional supplements, and medication not available via pharmaceutical assistance funds, among other things. The funds can also assist immediate family members with medical/pharmaceutical costs, clothing, and child and dog care during treatment.

Patients can apply for funding on Edensaw’s website, after which Edensaw confirms the treatment with Jefferson Healthcare and determines the amount of aid needed by the patient.

In 2018, the ECCF helped more than 326 cancer patients, according to Halsted. Since its start, the foundation has given over $338,726 in aid.

“I think it’s unique to PT to have a small business create such a successful fund for patients in the community,” said Rebecca Kimball, an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner focused on cancer care at Jefferson Healthcare.

She stressed the importance of the program.

“There really isn’t another place for people to get money for these basic needs,” she said. “We can appeal to drug manufacturers to give them their drug for less or nothing, but we can’t do anything to keep their electricity on, because they can’t go to work.”

Kimball brought up transportation to appointments as one major issue for cancer patients. There is no radiation treatment offered at Jefferson Healthcare, and so cancer patients must drive, or as often is the case, be driven, to Poulsbo or Sequim every day for this treatment.

“Sometimes this goes on for eight weeks or even longer and it’s just oppressive, and so to have any help with that is great,” she said, adding that the Ecumenical Christian Helping Hands Organization of Port Townsend, or ECHHO, offers transportation services for patients.

However, the service that the ECCF provides, as far as she knows, is unique in Jefferson County.

Jefferson County residents can donate money to the fund under the ECCF tab on Edensaw’s website.

“What I like about the program is it works directly with local donors. People who are from the community giving back to the community,” Halsted said.

Brewfest is 1-9 p.m. July 27. It includes live music from Soul Siren and food from Mo-Chilli BBQ. There will be an auction including unique handmade furniture and donated baskets of goods, along with ECCF merchandise for sale and donation boxes for the fund.

In addition, the event will give a chance for patients to share their experiences, Halsted said.

“It’s an option for people to open up about their experiences and get the word out. Hopefully it’s brought to their attention that there’s some help out there,” he said.

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