Lottery fundraiser aims to scratch out breast cancer

Theresa Williams, left, branch manager of First Niagara bank, and Kristy Elchynski, owner of CJE Bingo, have just the ticket to beat breast cancer. The organizers of Breast Cancer Bingo are holding a lottery fundraiser to raise money to fight breast cancer. Journal photo by Stephen Sears

Two Corry businesses have been trying to blot out breast cancer each year by holding a bingo fundraiser.

Now, CJE Bingo and First Niagara bank are aiming to scratch out the dreaded disease, too.

Kristy Elchynski, owner of CJE Bingo, and Theresa Williams, branch manager of First Niagara bank, are adding a new fundraising twist to the third Breast Cancer Bingo event they are planning for Oct. 29 at St. Elizabeth Parish Center in Corry.

To raise additional funds to benefit organizations that battle cancer, the two businesses are selling chances that could net 10 lucky winners hundreds of instant “scratch-off” tickets from the Pennsylvania Lottery.

“We’ll draw the winners at Breast Cancer Bingo,” Elchynski said.

Tickets for the lottery fundraiser are $10 each, but you don’t have to buy one to attend Breast Cancer Bingo.

Breast Cancer Bingo starts Oct. 29 at 5:30 p.m. Participants pay an admission charge and get dinner, game books, and chances at door prizes donated by local businesses.

Elchynski and Williams hope to double their earnings at this year’s bingo, so even more money can be donated to help fight breast cancer locally.

Elchynski said this year’s goal is $7,500.

Judging from the proceeds from the first two bingo fundraisers, that goal could be reached.

The first breast cancer bingo fundraiser was held in 2007 at the Columbus Volunteer Fire Department social hall. That initial event attracted about 80 people and raised $1,700.

The event was skipped in 2008, but last year, supportive bingo players raised $3,400 toward the cause. All proceeds were given away, with the Corry chapter of the American Cancer Society receiving $3,000 and the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation receiving $400.

The local chapter of the cancer society and the Kanzius foundation again will benefit from the event. Another organization, Regional Home Health and Hospice, also will receive a donation this year.

“We’re expanding our donations,” Williams said. “We want to help more organizations this year.”

The grand prize is $1,000 worth of instant lottery tickets. The second- and third-place prizes are $500 worth of tickets and the fourth- and fifth-place winners will get $250 worth of tickets. Sixth- through 10th-place winners will receive $100 in tickets.

Winners will have the option of taking half cash and half lottery tickets.

“We’re trying to bring more awareness to breast cancer,” Williams said.

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