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Cass County Tractor Pullers Club donates to help cancer patients

DOWAGIAC — Saturday, downtown Dowagiac was filled with pumpkin carvers, dancers and dogs dressed up in Halloween costumes for the city’s annual Under the Harvest Moon Festival. On one end of Front Street, tractors of all sizes and colors were on display. In front of a tall, orange model, a group handed a check to an area nonprofit organization.

The Cass Tractor Pullers Club donated $6,500 to Cass County Cancer Service Saturday. The money was raised through charity tractor rides and pulls the club hosted throughout the year. All money donated will support programs through Cass County Cancer Service, a volunteer-run organization that provides support for those undergoing cancer treatment. That support comes in many forms, from helping patients pay for gas to get them to and from treatments to rides to doctor’s appointments and more.

A member of the Cass County Tractor Pullers Club, Tom Florea, said he wanted to raise money for Cass County Cancer Service as his daughter, Ann, is currently undergoing cancer treatment.

“It really hit home for me, so I wanted to work on this,” he said. “It’s going to a good cause.”

Ray Klomes, vice president of Cass County Cancer Service, said the nonprofit organization was grateful for the donation. He estimated that it would be able to help 100 patients over the course of a year.

“We feel wonderful,” Klomes said of the donation. “We have about 200 cancer patients right now, and we are a 100 percent volunteer-run organization. We used to raise all the money ourselves, and now we have people in the community raising money for us. That allows us to focus more on helping other people out.”

Klomes, who has family members who have been impacted by cancer, said Cass County Cancer Service provides an import service to help Cass County residents. The organization relies on community donations like the one from the Cass County Tractor Puller Club, he said.

“Everything we give out is raised,” he said. “Everything we do is to help out other people when they are in need.”

Members of the Cass County Tractor Pullers Club said they were happy to give back to Cass County Cancer Services and the Cass County community. Additionally, members said they are hoping to do even more next year.

“All of the money [with Cass County Cancer Services] stays local,” Florea said. “This is a good way for us to get involved with the community, show off the tractors and give back.”

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