(From left) Bob Dunse, James Gavellas and Dennis East of the Bluff City Motorcycle Club present Lee McRaven, development specialist with OSF Saint Anthony’s Foundation, a check to help patients fighting cancer.
ALTON — The members of Bluff City Motorcycle Club may have been born to ride, but they were also born to care.
The club, in memory of a fallen brother, raised $600 to help support patients in their fight against cancer.
The group contacted OSF Saint Anthony’s Foundation about raising the money in tribute to club member, Michael Dodd of Bethalto, who died in January after a lengthy battle with cancer.
“For many years, Mike, along with the club, participated in many fundraisers for many different people and organizations,” club spokesman Bob Dunse said. “So, when his last request was for his brothers and sisters at Bluff City Motorcycle Club to have a fundraiser in his name and give the proceeds to the very people who cared for him at OSF Saint Anthony’s, how could we say no?”
Mike was only 51 when his battle with the cancer ended Jan. 7. According to the group, Mike was an inspirational father, grandfather and brother. He was a brother not only to his siblings but to his extended family as well — his brothers and sisters at Bluff City Motorcycle Club of East Alton.
Lee McRaven, development specialist for OSF Saint Anthony’s Foundation, thanked all the members of the Bluff City Motorcycle Club for their generous and heartwarming donation to assist patients who have exhausted insurance and other options. Their donation will support those who need financial assistance with nutritional supplements and transportation costs.
“We truly appreciate the efforts of everyone in assisting us to ease the burden that cancer has placed on so many people,” McRaven said. “The members of Bluff City Motorcycle Club have truly made a difference by giving back to their community. We are grateful for their help with our mission.”
While the club raised the money through the sale of T-shirts, they also participate in several other forms of fundraising for causes like battered women’s shelters, boys’ and girls’ clubs and food pantries.
“We try to help everyone and feel it’s very important to help the community,” Dunse said. “We are like a big family. In fact, when there is a need, all bikers tend to ride together. ”
After witnessing the financial difficulties Dodd’s family endured, the club requested the money be set aside for individuals who have exhausted all other means but still need help.
“We saw what Mike went through and really wanted to help somebody — that is what being in this club is all about,” Dunse said. “It truly is like being one big family. We love each other, we take of each other and the togetherness that we share has a feeling only a member would truly understand. It is a special feeling.”
OSF Saint Anthony’s Cancer Center of Excellence, led by board-certified radiation oncologist Dr. James Piephoff and medical oncologist Dr. Manpreet Sandhu, is rated in the top 75 cancer center programs in the nation by the American College of Surgeons and provides Illinois residents nationally recognized cancer services close to home.
For information, call OSF Saint Anthony’s Cancer Center of Excellence at OSF Saint Clare’s Hospital, 915 E. Fifth St., at (618) 463-5623.
To make a donation to the OSF Saint Anthony’s Foundation in Mike Dodd’s name or support another area within OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center or OSF Saint Clare’s Hospital, call Lee McRaven at (618) 463-5168.