A local non-profit foundation is asking people to support events that allow it to help people in Clinton and surrounding communities.

The Vern Worley Helping Hand Foundation was started in November 2009 by 11 family members of Vern Worley after he was diagnosed with Mesothelioma cancer. Worley was able to attend the first two meetings before he died Feb. 4, 2010.

Dawn Cripps, Worley’s stepdaughter and secretary of the foundation, said all of the family members on the foundation were touched by her father’s desire to help people in the community. She said the foundation is a great way of honoring him and the work he did for others.

“We’re just kind of continuing what he did all of his life,” said Cripps.

 The idea for the foundation came from Worley’s grandson during a benefit. It was formed for the purpose of helping families with a child diagnosed with cancer and to provide a scholarship to a person looking to go to a trade school. Its mission has expanded to help people in the local communities facing some kind of hardship. Cripps said they choose individuals they have heard of through the community, in area newspapers or in other ways.

During the past year, the foundation answered a “Dear Santa” letter from three young boys who wanted a headstone for their little brother. A scholarship was given to a Maquoketa man who will be attending Clinton Community College. The foundation also helped a woman battling cancer by granting her wish to have a weekend with her family to create memories by sending her, her daughter and her two granddaughters to Lake Geneva. This weekend the foundation will hold the second annual Children’s Fun Day fundraiser. The event will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of Legend’s Sports Bar, 2118 Harrison Drive. Games for all ages will be available for 25 cents each and winners will receive prizes. The event will feature a dunk tank manned by local police officers and a cake walk. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Food will include hotdogs, chips, soft drinks, water and baked goods.

Cripps encourages people to attend the Sunday event. Since the foundation is non-profit, fundraisers and donations are needed to continue help for people in the community. Cripps said someone never knows what may happen in their own family and when they might need help. The foundation members work to be able to provide this help to individuals and families in Clinton and other area communities.

For more information on the event or the foundation, contact Cripps at (563) 249-6100.

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