Stamp Out Cancer Fundraiser Takes Center Stage

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For the eighth year in-a-row, it's been one of the hottest tickets in town, and also one of the biggest fundraisers.

"We're excited for this year's Stamp Out Cancer event," said organizer Zach Wygal. "Every year brings something different."

And while the participants change every year, one thing remains the same, the event brings in big dollars for the Montgomery County Cancer Association. Since starting Stamp Out Cancer in 2011, the event has raised over $325,000 for cancer research, patient care and scholarships.

The event was a brainchild of Wygal and his friend, Lesley Pollard, in tribute to his dad, the late Ron "Stamps" Wygal, who died from brain cancer.

The committee now includes Wygal's sisters, Dana Holshouser and Renee Laughlin, his brother Chris Wygal, Jeremy Schmidt and new members this year Kelsey Flack, Cory Evans and Heather Greenwood, all former participants.

"Our new team members have really helped breathe new life into our event this year," Wygal said. "I would say this is the least worried I have ever been leading up to the big day."

Although his brother, Chris, has always been a part of the fundraiser, Wygal said he has officially joined the committee this year and helped with the organizing of things.

This year's sold-out event will take place on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Taylor Springs.

Five celebrity couples will participate in this year's Lip Sync Challenge, followed by live entertainment by the St. Louis-based Platinum Rock Legends.

"This is the most hyped band we have ever had," Wygal said. "It's going to be a fun night."

The fundraiser also includes a huge silent auction, with some hot items, like tickets to see Hamilton at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, MO, tickets to see Taylor Swift in concert, a series 3 Apple watch and a Michael Jordan autograph.

This year's celebrity couples will also perform prior to the band. Participants include Tom and Theresa Priddle of Litchfield, Jessica Vickery and Brittany Ronco of Litchfield, Cody and Kelby McCoy of Hillsboro, Greg and Gaye DeRight of Hillsboro and Keri and Russ Foster of Nokomis. All five teams have been hosting fundraisers all over the county the past several weeks, and the team that raises the most money will be crowned the champions.

To date, last year's fundraiser was the biggest, bringing in $70,500 for the MCCA, with Kelsey Flack and Emily Zimmerman as champions. The biggest single fundraising team to date was Earl and Nancy Flack, who brought in over $22,000. Other winners include John and Susie Galer, Don Downs and Melanie Tyszko, Heather Greenwood and Nathan Clinard and Jason and Jen Anderson.

"We continue working to stay ahead of the curve and making it unique," Wygal said. "That's why we switched from 'Dancing with the Stars' to lip sync several years ago. You just can't rest on your laurels."

Wygal said he and the Stamp Out Cancer family are grateful to the community for its continued support of the fundraising efforts over the years.

"We keep going because it's fun," he said with a smile. "It's never gotten old or boring. I would love to see us cross the half-million and $1 million marks in terms of fundraising."

Although it was started in memory of his dad, Wygal said he's glad to see that over the years it has given other teams a chance to share their stories of survival and a way to honor the fight against cancer.

"We're eight years in, and the excitement is still there, just as it was the first time we did it," Wygal said. "This is something people believe in year-in and year-out. And I have to say, that pretty much embodies Montgomery County. We're pretty awesome, and if I were other counties, I'd be jealous."

" To learn more about Stamp Out Cancer or for online voting before the big event, visit www.soc.mccaweb.com.

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