CULLMAN — Scott Lochridge never dreamed he’d dedicate so much time trying to raise money for cancer patients.
Four years ago, he was one. After deemed healthy five months following his diagnosis, he then spent the spring figuring out how to create his own foundation dedicated to raising money for those struggling with finances during their own battles.
While he was being treated, he said his wife would be in the waiting rooms talking to spouses of other patients, and it got them thinking about ways they could help.
“We realized the tremendous need there,” he said. “Because of the great community we live in, we decided we wanted to give back and help as many people as we could. There is tremendous need for day-to-day living expenses out there.”
The Scott Lochridge Foundation started in May 2009, and in the past two years it’s raised around $16,000, and $14,000 of which they’ve donated directly back to the community. Lochridge said he and his wife both have jobs, so they don’t need to make money from this.
“It’s not designed to make anyone rich except the patients who are getting things paid for so they can move through their treatment,” he said. “It’s very important to me that it’s all for the patient.”
One of the main fundraisers is the “Finish the Race” Golf Tournament, which is being held July 21.
So far, there are eight teams signed up. With a week left before the event, Lochridge is confident that number will grow. Same-day registration is also available.
In addition to having teams sign up, they also offer hole sponsorships for $100 a hole. Lochridge believes now there are 15 holes with sponsors, leaving three available.
He said he doesn’t like to set goals for how much he hopes to raise in these events.
“I just try to do the best I can each year, and hopefully it grows each year,” Lochridge said. “I would like to eventually be as big as the Livestrong organization or something like that, but now we’re just going day by day.”
The name of the tournament comes from a Bible verse in I Corinthians 9.
“We’re supposed to finish the race that’s set before us, and my race is to help people with cancer until they find a cure,” Lochridge said.
Last summer, the event was June 11, commemorating the exact day three years prior that Lochridge had received his diagnosis.
“I was told if I didn’t have a reoccurrence within three years, I could call myself cancer free, so we held it earlier last year,” he said. “We’ve done it in July the first and third years.”
While Lochridge has a passion for this cause, he said it’s still a lot of work.
“I don’t mind giving up my time,” he said. “But it’s a lot harder than a lot of people think. I try to go individually into places as much as I can to ask for home sponsorship or a donation or to put a team in, but it’s very time consuming. But in the end, it’s so worth it.”
He does believe cancer research is important, but to him, donating directly to the people is more important.
“I love all the cancer research that goes on,” he said. “They need to find a cure for cancer, but at the same time, people have to live daily with it. We want to help as many people to live so that when they find the cure, they can continue to live.”
Lochridge on occasion gets to interact with people he’s helped, and though no recovered patients have been able to take part in the tournament, he’s hoping to change that this year.
“I’m reaching out to some to see if they’ll be able to be here, and I’m reaching out to the medical team that helped me to see if they’ll be there as well,” he said.
Before he started his own treatment, Lochridge used to play 18 holes almost every day. He hasn’t played since his diagnosis and is also thinking of taking part in the tournament this year.
“I’d be very rusty, but it would be exciting to play again,” he said. “I do miss it. I miss it a lot.”
For more information about this event, contact Scott Lochridge at 256-531-2248 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
%Laura Owens can be reached at 256-743-2131, ext. 258 or at email@example.com.