Oil City vs. Cancer Event Planned in Memory of Local Man

| March 11, 2019

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – The Oil City Area School District, the National Honor Society, and the Kirtland Cancer Foundation have partnered with New York Life to
create a special Oil City vs. Cancer event to benefit local residents battling cancer.

The Oil City vs. Cancer event will be held on Friday, March 15, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Oil City High School.

The event will feature a basketball game pitting a newly formed co-ed Oil City Alumni team against the current senior class from the 2019 boys and girls basketball teams in an attempt to raise funds to “dunk cancer” in the Venango County Area.

Organizer Jacob Davis told exploreVenango.com that the idea for the event originated during local resident Eric Lendrum’s (pictured above) battle against cancer, more specifically when Lendrum decided to discontinue medical treatment.

Lendrum, who was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcomas, a rare form of cancer most often found near joint capsules and tendons, passed away on Saturday, February 9, 2019.

Davis and Lendrum had been friends from the beginning of elementary school through high school graduation, and though they had grown apart somewhat as adults, Davis said Lendrum was still like a brother to him.

“The last time I visited him was the Thursday before he passed, less than 48 hours before he passed away. It was important to me when I realized how close to the end he was to tell him we were doing something,” Davis explained.

“I wanted to deliver good news, so I reached out to a couple of people before I went, and I was able to tell Eric we’re doing something for you, and hopefully bring him some measure of peace.”

According to Davis, one of the places he reached out to was the Oil City School District, where he found immediate support.

“Scott Stahl, who is the principal there, has helped tremendously right from the beginning,” Davis noted.

“I also reached out to my company, New York Life, and secured a matching grant of up to $5,000.00. Then a local business owner came forward to donate the other $5,000.00, and the Oil City High School class of 2010 brought in another $2,000.00.”

With so much support, a committee was formed to help turn the event from something to help Lendrum’s family into something larger.

“We saw an opportunity to not only help Eric’s family but Venango County as a whole. As a result, we partnered with the Kirtland Cancer Foundation, an organization that has been helping families in Venango County affected by cancer since 2005,” said Davis.

According to Davis, while Stahl was one of the first big supporters of the effort, becoming involved in the committee from the very beginning, many of the other committee members also deserve recognition for the hard work they’ve put in on the project.

“Lisa Winger did a lot of work reaching out to business owners and soliciting donations for sponsorships, Nick Gammello, another friend of Eric’s, organized all of the concession, Tessa Byham was the first person on committee helping with reaching out, making tickets, and really doing everything at the beginning, and Jess Ochs did a lot of the marketing.”

In addition to being a great time for all, all proceeds from ticket sales, a 50/50 drawing, concessions, and a Chinese auction will go to support the Kirtland Cancer Foundation, Lendrum’s wife and two young children, and another local family, the Sutley family, currently dealing with a battle with cancer.

Oil City Senior Colton Sutley was recently diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones. He is being treated at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

“I think it’s really awesome that they decided to include him in it with us just finding out about it,” Sutley’s mother, Helen Sutley, told exploreVenango.com.

“We’re really appreciative of everyone’s love and support. The outpouring of support we’re received is just really overwhelming.”

Tickets are currently being pre-sold at Oil City High School, the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, and online through Facebook and Eventbrite.

Admission is $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for students and children.

Davis also noted that while this event is in honor and memory of Lundrum, it is also about helping everyone in the Venango County area who is struggling with a battle with cancer.

“Cancer continues to affect too many of us and our loved ones each and every day. We humbly ask you to come out and join us in an attempt to prove that cancer will never be stronger than our community.”

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