"Picking For A Cause'' Event Benefits Scholarships

Strawberry Picking To Assist MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation

Friday, May 11, 2018
Bill Perry (left) and Aubie Smith, partners in Smith-Perry Berries.
Bill Perry (left) and Aubie Smith, partners in Smith-Perry Berries.

Smith-Perry Berries in Ooltewah will host “Picking for a Cause’’ Saturday and Sunday to benefit the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation.

A portion of each pink bucket of strawberries picked will be donated to the foundation, which provides college scholarships to the children of breast cancer patients.

The farm is at 9626 Ooltewah-Georgetown Road. Prices are $3 per pound for pick your own and $3.50 per pound for berries that are already picked.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Aubie Smith, Bill Perry and Will Perry are partners in the operation.

The farm also grows sunflowers and was a popular location last summer for family photos in the fields.

“On Mother’s Day weekend, we wanted to give back to the community in a way that helps many people,’’ said Bill Perry. “Bring your family and friends to help celebrate women and their children and to help bring awareness of one of the most curable and beatable cancers.’’

The MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation assists students who have either lost a parent to breast cancer or have a parent who is a breast cancer survivor or currently in treatment. The awards are designed to ease the financial and emotional burdens faced by families dealing with the disease.

The organization was founded in 2002 by MaryEllen Locher, a well-known WTVC news anchor and health reporter. She started the foundation because she was concerned about the future of her own son. Ms. Locher died of breast cancer in 2005 after her third bout with cancer.

Over the past 15 years, the foundation has awarded over 460 scholarships totaling $751,000.

Funds for the foundation are raised through special events, individual donations, corporate sponsorships, and private grants. The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.

The foundation also sponsors “Mel’s Club,’’ a breast health awareness and education program for teen girls. Topics covered include myths and misconceptions about breast cancer, prevention, detection, and how to do a breast self-exam. The program also includes remarks from a breast cancer survivor. Presentations are available for schools, churches, civic organizations and clubs.

For more information about the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation or to schedule a “Mel’s Club’’ presentation, contact Cindy Pare, administrator, at (423) 490-4555 or cindy@melfoundation.org. Visit the website at www.melfoundation.org or find out more about the foundation on Facebook and Instagram. 


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