Who/what: Not long after the group’s namesake died in August 2008, Team Mel’s Family formed to raise money to help find a cure for leukemia and to bring awareness to the disease. After all, for the family and friends of Melvin White, the cause is a personal one. A Galilee, Wayne County, native and Jessup resident, White was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2006. An avid bowler who also enjoyed golfing and watching sports, White and his wife of 50 years, Barbara Chadwick-White, had three children — Brian, Patti and Donna — plus many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who today help continue the fight against leukemia in his name “so that no one else has to go through the same pain and suffering,” daughter Donna Praefke said.
When/where: The group holds several fundraisers each year, with its next, a spring craft and vendor fair, is set for Sunday, March 29, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Moon Tavern & Entertainment Complex inside the Days Inn, 1946 Scranton-Carbondale Highway, Dickson City. The event will include a wide range of products for sale, from bath and body items to pet treats to kitchen gadgets and more. An updated list of vendors and more information about the fair can be found on the Facebook event page. Then, a fall craft and vendor fair will follow on Sunday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Genetti Manor, 1505 N. Main Ave., Dickson City. The group also will participate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual Light the Night Walk at Nay Aug Park, Scranton, happening this year on Saturday, Sept. 19.
Anyone interested in participating in the walk can sign up at lightthenight.org. Those who would like to support Team Mel’s Family directly can visit the group’s fundraising page at https://pages.lls.org/ltn/epa/scrantn20/teammelsfamily or mail donations to Donna Praefke at 929 Dimmick St., Dickson City, PA 18519.
Why: All proceeds from the craft and vendor fairs go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a national group working to increase awareness about blood cancer and raise money to help patients and their families.
In her own words: “We would appreciate the support and donations because the more money we can raise, the closer we are to finding a cure and the more we can help the families in need. Support is needed throughout our community so other families do not have to go through the same thing that we did. We want people to know that they are not alone.” — Donna Praefke
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest