Under the Hat: A Giving Community - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under the Hat: A Giving Community

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Rule number one for those in the non-profit game is this:

Smile and stay positive.

Everybody has their ups and downs and of course you need to express to the community the truth if your efforts are facing a financial freefall.

But putting the right spin on things is also key if you want to maintain momentum and positive energy out among the givers in town.

So while outwardly the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation was talking in high energy, positive terms about this year's Community for Kanzius Telethon, privately there was some concern.

The economy in Erie is still not strong and there are a lot of other efforts out there right now, including the United Way campaign and the MDA telethon of a few weeks back.

Add to that a new initiative this year called Erie Gives and there are a growing number of hands going into a shrinking pocket.

The truth is, the 150-thousand dollars raised is down from the year before.

But the truth also is that 150-thousand dollars is a lot of money right now.

Some were from sizeable donations sure, but most of it came from regular folks touched by cancer who were tired of feeling helpless as loved ones struggled through not only the disease but also the terrible effects of the treatment.

The John Kanzius dream of using radio waves to heat and kill cancer cells without surgery or side effects had them selling lemonade, holding golf tournaments and even swimming across Lake Erie to help.

City leaders tell me that while property taxes are about the same, income tax collections are down, proof that while we are able to stay in our homes we are not making the money of years past.

But a down economy obviously doesn't stop a giving heart. Erie is proving once again that it is a giving community, regardless of current circumstance.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: After this story was filed the Kanzius Foundation recounted the donations. It's now believed that a little under $193,000 was pledged. Erie's more giving than even I thought!

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