Harvest of Hope to return Sunday at Meadowbrook

Event to raise funds to help people battling cancer

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Pictured are a few of the raffle baskets to be auctioned during the annual Harvest of Hope event Sunday at Meadowbrook Park in the Ballroom.

It started 13 years ago when Dean Vogel Jr. was diagnosed with cancer. Since then, the annual Harvest of Hope fundraiser has grown and continues to provide a safe haven for those in need.

Barb Vogel and her daughter Tami Staib organized the first Harvest of Hope Fundraiser after Dean was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2004. Staib said her brother didn’t want the money to just go to him, but to give back to the organization that helped them out the most: Financial Assistance for Cancer Treatment of Seneca County.

Staib said the first fundraiser was planned within three weeks and raised $1,200. So far, the Harvest of Hope event has raised more than $81,000 for F.A.C.T.

The event is to take place 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at Meadowbrook Ballroom in Bascom.

The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for children and children 5 years old and younger are admitted free.

The event is an all-you-can-eat dinner featuring hobo stew and chicken noodle soup, sandwiches, sides and desserts. Carry-out options are available for those who cannot stay to eat.

In addition to the meal, there is to be a bake sale, face painting, 50/50 drawing, live and silent auction items, raffle baskets and a prayer chain.

In 2006, Dean Vogel Sr. also was diagnosed with cancer. Staib said her father lost his battle with colon cancer in March 2010 and her family decided not only to keep the fundraiser going for those who are in need, but for her family after what they had been through.

The title of the fundraiser, Harvest of Hope, was started by Staib, who would get constant well-wishes from family and friends for her brother while he was in the hospital. She then created a scrapbook titled “Hands of Love” for people to trace their hands and write messages within the outline.

“It was a way for my brother to know there were people there for him,” Staib said.

The decision to give all proceeds to F.A.C.T. was easy, she said. Within 24 hours of contacting the organization for assistance, they received a response.

“They are always willing to help,” Barb said. “They are there in a time you need them most. Not just financial assistance, but with the emotional support, as well. They are truly compassionate for those who are fighting the disease of cancer.”

Barb said they did not understand the full impact F.A.C.T. would have on their lives at the time.

“It is an honor to give back to F.A.C.T. and continue to help those in need,” Staib said.

Barb said family members also will be there for those who want to talk about their struggles.

“We are not just here to give a fundraiser, but be a place to talk to about what they are going through and the emotions they are dealing with the disease,” she said. “This fundraiser means a lot to us.”

For more information, visit www.harvestofhope

online.com or call (419) 448-7070.