Driven by Support

Published 7:01 am Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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With no Lyle Area Cancer Auction this year, drive-thru helps continue the tradition of giving


Not willing to simply cancel this year’s event, organizers of the Lyle Area Cancer Auction were  determined to move forward in some fashion.

Or perhaps it was driven forward.

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On a snowy afternoon this past Saturday, the LAC hosted a drive-thru meal event open to free-will donations. The community responded and the LAC raised a little over $24,000 in just three hours.

“It was absolutely awesome,” said co-organizer Larry Ricke. “We didn’t have anything left. It was like 10 to 7 p.m., we’re out of food. It was perfect.”

In total, the LAC was still able to donate overall over $35,000. Most of the events usually associated with the LAC in a normal year were cancelled because of COVID-19, except for the scrapbooking event Crop for a Cure, which was held virtually.

Because of that, funds collected were through donations, making this year’s effort particularly noteworthy, especially considering how big some of the bills were. Ricke said on average, donations were around $41 for a serving.

“It was one of those mixed feelings,” Ricke said. “You have a gut feeling it will go well, but there’s a chance it could go really, really well. Everybody was positive, saying ‘you guys will be amazed.’ Thank God, it happened.”

In 42 years of the LAC, the drive to raise money for cancer research has raised over $3 million. Last year alone, the auction raised $152,500 and donated it to the Eagles Cancer Telethon, which is where this year’s money was also donated.

It’s why this year organizers are considering themselves truly blessed to be able to have raised what they did while walking hand-in-hand with those that turned out for the drive-thru events.

“It was definitely a 10,” Ricke said. “I was very skeptical. Prior to all of this coming on, we had no idea what we were going to have to do.”

The LAC brought in people who had organized and held drive-thrus before to help bolster theirs and ensure it went smoothly.

However, organizers are hoping this is a one time shot; there’s nothing that can replace the real thing. But there’s no denying the success of those snowy three hours Saturday.

“We went right down the ladder and did everything accordingly,” Ricke said. “It was a great turnout.”