Fundraiser held at Memorial HS to help Sarah Strong Foundation

It's one of many that have been held, with more to come in honor of the teen who died of colon cancer.

Posted on Feb. 15, 2014 at 7:11 p.m.

ELKHART — The desire to give and help in the wake of the death of Elkhart teen Sarah Crane has been steady, and an area business held a fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 15, to aid the cause.

Mishawaka-based Diamond Air, maker of vacuuming systems, sponsored the silent auction and bake sale at Memorial High School. Jennifer Rogers, general manager of the business, spearheaded the event, in cooperation with the Sarah Strong Foundation, the beneficiary of the effort.

Like Sarah, Rogers' husband died of colon cancer, Rogers said, and the Elkhart teen and Memorial student's struggle "touched a soft spot."

Area businesses donated gift cards, services and more for the silent auction. Diamond Air also raffled a Rainbow Cleaning System, one of the special vacuums the company sells.

Brenda Mueller, treasurer of the Sarah Strong Foundation, said there have been a steady number of fundraisers since the girl died Dec. 7, many initiated by outside groups wanting to help. "We're getting a lot of requests and it's been amazing, overwhelming," she said, selling purple Sarahstrong T-shirts at the Memorial event.

The foundation was formed in Sarah's memory to help the community and, more particularly, those being treated for cancer and their families, said Mueller, also a Memorial teacher. One of the coming big foundation events is a 5-kilometer run set for March 8 and already, $6,000 has been raised with 350 so far set to take part, said Mueller.

"It's going to be a celebration of her life," she said.

Mueller also said the foundation is hoping to open a location to house the organization.

Follow reporter Tim Vandenack on Twitter at @timvandenack.

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