Family donates, hopes to find cure

A family’s dedication to find a cure for cancer has lead to a generous donation.

The Knoch-Spinnati family started participating in the Auglaize County Relay for Life eight years ago, and now they host their own fundraiser to raise money for the organization.

Wapakoneta resident Vicki Spinnati and her family recently raised $4,000 from a basket bingo fundraiser, a homemade scarves sale and local donations.

On Tuesday evening, they presented the donation to American Cancer Society Income Development Representative Sarah Burke, along with committee chairs and team captains of the Auglaize County Relay for Life to give to the American Cancer Society. This money will be used for cancer research and to also help people in Auglaize County affected by cancer through local programs they can benefit from.

“Hopefully we find a cure for everyone,” Spinnati said.

Spinnati, who is battling breast cancer, recently finished up her radiation treatments and will continue her chemotherapy treatments until September.

She comes from a line of family members stricken with cancer. Many people in her family have battled the disease, and some have survived and some died from it.

Spinnati watched her sister-in-law die from pancreatic cancer, and her husband died from the side effects from chemotherapy. An aunt, a cousin and two uncles also died.

Spinnati’s cousin, Ty Doty, had gotten the family involved in participating in Relay for Life of Auglaize County, and they did this for five years, and then took a couple years off before hosting raffles and basket bingos to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and the Auglaize County Relay for Life.

“My cousin started it, and each year we did a little more,” Spinnati said.

Doty is the daughter of Tom Knoch and it was her idea to get involved in Relay for Life after her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. At that point, she decided to get the whole family involved to form a team to participate in this effort to raise money.

“We walked many cold nights,” Doty said, of the Relay for Life events. “We still support Relay (for Life), but because of the conflict of dates of the event, we can’t participate.”

So the family does a fundraiser of their own.

The family recently held a basket bingo at St. Joseph Parish Life Center on March 10, and this was their sixth year hosting this type of event.

They had local sponsors who donated either funds or items to be given away as prizes for the bingo, including Wapa Theatre, CJ’s Pizza, Woody’s Diner and Astro Lanes.

The basket bingo brought in $2,900, and the scarves that Spinnati and her daughter, Kelli Lee, and aunt, Georgia Lee, made up the remaining money, along with local donations, to equal $4,000 to donate.

Between numerous family members — including cousins, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, grandchildren, friends and their families — this donation was made possible.

“It’s truly a family event,” Spinnati said, of how the family worked together to raise the donation money.

The $4,000 raised will go toward this year’s goal of the Auglaize County Relay for Life goal, which is $51,275. The Auglaize County Relay for Life will be held June 21 and 22 at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds, and teams are still forming.

The Knoch-Spinnati family’s mission to to help find a cure for cancer for every type of cancer.

Noting every penny counts, Spinnati said, “A little bit of money helps those locally who need the help.”