Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana will be the sole recipient of funds raised in the 72nd annual Penny Pitch effort.
Established in 1944 by volunteers looking to help friends and family cover the cost of medical bills by working in sewing circles to make bed pads and bandages, the Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year.
The 501(c)(3) nonprofit focuses on helping alleviate the financial and emotional burden of cancer and improve the quality of life for cancer survivors in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley counties. Services include financial assistance for cancer-related expenses, personalized supportive counseling from qualified professionals, and specialized programming for children with cancer.
Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana plans to use money donated through WOWO Penny Pitch specifically for its Client Services Program to provide an advocate to walk side-by-side with 1,100 families with children dealing with a cancer diagnosis and struggling to make ends meet. This includes financial assistance, transportation assistance, specialized healthcare and medical equipment, and wigs, hats, and scarves for children and adults with cancer.
WOWO’s annual Penny Pitch campaign has raised money for local charitable efforts within Northeast Indiana since 1948. The effort has received recognition in the form of numerous community service awards, both on a regional and national scale. Last year’s effort raised a combined $102,169 for Erin’s House for Grieving Children and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana.
Donations are currently being accepted, with the “official” kickoff set for Thanksgiving night in partnership with the Fort Wayne Komets, during the annual Bob Chase Memorial Game.
November 28, 7 p.m. – WOWO staff and volunteers will be out a the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum with their orange buckets collecting for Penny Pitch for the traditional Thanksgiving night hockey game. The Fort Wayne Komets will take on the Wheeling Nailers for the Bob Chase Memorial Game, and special jerseys will be raffled off. You can pre-purchase raffle tickets, and tickets to the game, here.
December 6, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. – WOWO staffers will be out at the Phil’s One Stop gas station at 6230 E. State Boulevard near Georgetown. They will be collecting donations for Penny Pitch with their orange buckets in hand.
December 12 & 13, 5 a.m.to 6 p.m. – WOWO staffers and Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana volunteers will participate in a live radiothon. Donations will be accepted over the phone in addition to at WOWO.com, and special guests will appear throughout the broadcast to make their own donations and challenge others to follow suit.
Penny Pitch began after World War II when a simple request came to WOWO to help a young quadriplegic buy a special typewriter so he could pursue a writing career.
A request was made over the air for listeners to donate their pennies. The response was so overwhelming that more than enough was raised to help the young man.
Thus, Penny Pitch was born.
Over the next few years, momentum grew as the Tri-State area adopted Penny Pitch as their own local charitable effort. Each year, local families were chosen as the recipients of Penny Pitch.
Now, over 70 years after the first Penny Pitch began, the corporation provides grants to qualified not-for-profit organizations that serve disadvantaged people in the Fort Wayne, Allen County and Northeast Indiana region.
As the longest running local charity benefiting area families, Penny Pitch is loved by listeners who give generously every year.