Medora supports those battling cancer



A cancer awareness event held on the second Saturday of October each year in this small southwestern Jackson County town has grown to the point where it requires the work of many volunteers.

But when you’re in the business of promoting awareness of an illness that affects one in three people, that’s not a problem, according to one of the organizers of HOPE Medora Goes Pink.

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Debi Wayman, who along with her daughter Deven Wayman-Shirley started the event in October of 2010 in memory of her mother who died after her breast cancer spread back in 2004, said planning for it has become a year round process for her.

“It’s just some people have full-time day jobs and I have an all-time job,” she said. “When you are called to do it, you just go through it. It’s a wonderful thing because so many people are blessed in this community and pull together and help one another.”

Bryan Bowers of rural Washington County, for instance, helps out by providing barrel rides for children to give the them something to do while mom and dad are busy visiting booths. It’s something he’s been doing the past five years.

He said he figures he could just give a cash donation because it likely costs more to provide the 50 cent rides than it brings in, but the barrel rides are important.

“The kids enjoy it,” he said.

Although he doesn’t live in Medora, he has family there and his wife is a Medora native.

“My wife has had problems with cancer in the past and so has my mother-in-law,” Bowers said. “It’s a good thing to do.”

Parents are allowed to ride for free if their children won’t ride without them, he said.

“If they want to give a donation that’s up to them,” Bowers said.

He said he knows some don’t have even 50 cents to spare for the rides, so he lets them ride for free.

A year ago, a 90-year-old woman asked me if she could ride, but said she didn’t have any money,” Bowers said. “I told her it was free for her. It made my day. I’ve had them from two years old to 90.”

The silent auction, organized by longtime committee members and Medora residents, Mitzi Davers and Rhonda Freeman, is one of the bigger ways the festival brings in money each year.

Davers said it is never hard to get businesses and individuals to help out.

“People will donate when they know it is for cancer,” she said. “They don’t hesitate.”

This year’s auction featured 22 tables, each holding anywhere from 10 to 20 items.

“We solicit at Salem, Seymour, Brownstown and Medora,” Davers said. “And Debi (Wayman) goes over to Bedford. She knows some people over there.”

Davers said she and Freeman along with a lot of other volunteers spend evenings in the days leading up to the event preparing the gymnasium in the Medora Christian Church’s Building 237 for the silent auction and health fair.

Lorretta Brock of Jeffersonville said she and other family members attend the event every year.

“We used to live in Medora,” she said as she filled out paper ribbons for placement on the Wall of Hope, also located in the 237 Building.

“It’s very important because I am a survivor,” Brock said. “My daughter is a survivor.”

Brock said she also was putting up ribbons for friends who have passed away from cancer.

“We have several,” she said. “It’s a very nice thing that they do this and raise money for people who have cancer and their families.”

Brock said she really commends Wayman for organizing the event each year.

Wayman said over the past nine years more than $103,000 has been raised during HOPE Medora Goes Pink events and all money raised through event has been distributed to people struggling with cancer and their families.

“I’ve got a new list (of recipients) today,” she said. “As long as there are funds, we will send it out. Everything we raised today will be sent out.”

Although she knows the event is about cancer awareness, Anita Bartley of Medora said the main reason she was there was to take advantage of some of the health screenings offered by Schneck Medical Center and others during the health fair.

That health fair, which was open during the morning, included some free screenings such as blood pressure checks and others such a comprehensive blood profile at a reasonable price.

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Donations may be sent to HOPE Medora Goes Pink, P.O. Box 125, Medora, IN 47260.

One hundred percent of the donations will be given to those affected by all types of cancer.

This is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Information: Debi Wayman at 812-966-2754 or 812-530-0093, [email protected] or


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