By David Klein
Try your hand in games against local media celebrities for a good cause. Friday night March 7, Game On Against Cancer takes place at Games & Things on Kingston Pike. The event, in its third year, is open to everyone and helps patients of The Thompson Cancer Survival Center. Proceeds go to support the Thompson Cares Fund. The fund gives assistance to patients who need help to meet their basic needs with housing, transportation, and medication. Holly’s Eventful Dining is catering the event while Saw Works Brewery will serve beer.
Local area TV and radio celebrities will play games such as table tennis, billiards, air hockey, darts, shuffleboard, foosball and blackjack against the public and each other. At the end of the night, the celebrity winner in each game will receive a plaque called the Sam Littleton Memorial Award, named after a cancer patient at Thompson who worked at several TV stations in town. The public winner has a chance to win a weekend getaway to a cabin in Wears Valley.
Some of the celebrities this year include TV Channel 8’s Ted Hall, Mayor Tim Burchett, Hallerin Hilton Hill, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, and former Biggest Loser contestant Joe Mitchell among others.
“We have been very fortunate to work with folks in the community and work with media partners,” Misty Brown, Director of Development, Covenant Health Office of Philanthropy, said.
“Hallerin Hilton Hill brings his own table tennis paddle,” she said.
In addition to the money raised from the tickets, there are about 30-35 auction items for sale, all benefitting the Thompson Cares Fund. Some of the items are Dixie Stampede tickets, Ripley’s Aquarium Admission, and framed autographs from former Tennessee football player Justin Hunter, store co-owner Lisa Mellon said.
Mellon said she goes to the Thompson Care Survival Center for injections to keep her blood platelet level up. In going there, and getting close to the people, and seeing the struggles there, “I just had a desire to want to do something,” she said about the idea for a fundraiser. She and her husband came up with the idea for the Game On fundraiser three years ago and presented it to people at Thompson, and they loved the idea.
Brown said they raised more than $40,000 for the Thompson Cancer Survival Center last year and hopes to raise $50,000 this year. Sometimes the funds go to transportation for patients to get to the center; sometimes the funds go for help with groceries or utilities. The funds meet whatever basic needs there are.
“That’s what this program (Thompson Cares Fund) is there to do, provide some assistance with your basic everyday expenses,” Brown said. “You never know when something is gonna happen that is going to, just knock you for a loop, cancer is definitely one of those,” Brown added.
“If you find yourself going through treatment and maybe some other unexpected expense comes out, this program has been great to be able to assist our patients through a difficult time, and hopefully make that a little bit easier for them to manage,” Brown emphasized.
“It is absolutely amazing to me how upbeat all the patients are, knowing what everyone is going through,” Mellon said. “Compassion is huge over there, and I think that’s what helps the patients get through stuff,” she continued.
“Thompson Cares is close to my heart,” Brown said. “We’re able to touch the lives of those who get diagnosed. Thompson Cares is here to fill that gap (financial) for patients.”
Admission tickets are $50. Call (865) 541-1227 or email Misty Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase tickets.