MOULTRIE, Ga. — Reinke Manufacturing didn’t let the cancellation of this year’s Sunbelt Expo prevent it from continuing its support for breast cancer patients, an effort that traditionally revolves around the annual farm show.
This would have been the ninth year that Reinke, a national maker of irrigation equipment, used its booth at the Expo to collect donations in exchange for T-shirts in its Finding a Cure Is Pivotal program.
With the Expo canceled due to coronavirus concerns, though, the company instead took some of the money it would have used to promote itself at the farm show and gave it to The Donna Foundation.
Mike Mills, Southeast territory manager for Reinke, presented a check to Amanda Napolitano, executive director of The Donna Foundation, Thursday at the Expo grounds. Mills said the $2,500 donation is approximately what the company would expect to raise in donations during the Expo.
“Breast cancer doesn’t know anything about coronavirus,” Mills said. “The need is still there.”
Napolitano said The Donna Foundation was founded by three-time breast cancer survivor Donna Deegan. Its signature event is 26.2 with Donna: Finish Breast Cancer, a marathon to support breast cancer patients and survivors. Napolitano said some participants use the marathon as a fund-raising opportunity too, but that’s not a requirement.
Besides the marathon, The Donna Foundation uses funds three ways to help breast cancer patients and survivors:
• The Donna CareLine connects patients and their families with financial resources to help meet their other obligations — “when they’re having to choose between food and medical attention,” Napolitano said. Resources might include food assistance agencies, assistance programs at the patient’s utility company or even a small direct grant from the foundation itself. Napolitano said the CareLine handled 138% more calls in August 2020 than in August 2019, at least in part due to the pandemic.
• The foundation donates to breast cancer research at the Mayor Clinic.
• The foundation’s survivorship program forges patients and survivors into a community to support one another.