That was the magic number last week. In three days, that's the amount of money that was collected for the Maine Cancer Foundation.

Cans for a Cure

Last Wednesday, October 12 through Friday, October 14, was the 20th annual Cans for a Cure event held in the Maine Mall parking lot near the Jordan's Furniture entrance on Gorham Road in South Portland. And even though it was the 20th, it was my first.

Before this event, I always knew Maine was a special, giving place. It just took experiencing the entirety of my first Cans for a Cure to realize exactly how special and how giving this place truly is.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

If you're not aware of what Cans for a Cure is -- first off, you're missing out on one of the best fundraisers of the year in Maine. But Cans is exactly as it sounds -- it's a charity event lasting three days that accepts donations of any kind (cash, credit card, empty cans and bottles, etc) to raise money for the Maine Cancer Foundation.

And the best part is every single penny raised stays right here in Maine to help our neighbors, our family, and our friends in the battle of their lives against cancer.

And it also brings out the best in Mainers.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Take Vickie, for example. As soon as she entered the tent to donate, Vickie shared that it was her fifth year donating and she began donating after being tested for the BRCA Gene and discovering there was a 50/50 chance she could develop breast cancer down the line.

As soon as she walked out of her appointment, Vickie said she flipped on the radio and heard about Cans for a Cure, and immediately drove to the Maine Mall to donate. She's done it every year since, including last week, when she shared that she was fresh off a preventative double mastectomy.

Because that's what happens in Maine. Someone receives some kind of possibly devastating news, and the first thing they do is turn around and try to help others that are in a similar situation or could be down the line.


Maine Cancer Foundation
Maine Cancer Foundation

And then there's John.

John is in his 70s and stopped by the Cans for a Cure tent at the Maine Mall on both Wednesday and Thursday already. But it was his visit on Friday morning that was quite possibly the most impactful.

Because even though John had been there twice already. He still made the 2.5-mile walk on Friday morning from his house to the Maine Mall during the torrential storm with four filled-to-the-brim bags of empty cans in his hands. Plus a backpack filled with more.

THAT'S Maine. And it's things like that and people like Vickie, John, and everyone else that helped bring in almost $74,000 over three days for the Maine Cancer Foundation that makes this state the hands-down best in the country.

Hell, even on the planet.

The 20th Annual Cans for a Cure

Almost $74,000 was raised in three days for Maine Cancer Foundation to help our neighbors, family, and friends in Maine in their battle against cancer.

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