Mike McClafferty is fighting the good fight against cancer.
The Vietnam War veteran recently had surgery to remove a kidney with Stage 2 cancer when it was found during a routine MRI. “I went in for one thing when they found this, so I was lucky,” McClafferty said.
But he’s not fighting alone. More than 100 people attended Moose Lodge 2179 in Harker Heights for a benefit on Sunday to support McClafferty, the lodge administrator, and raise money and cancer awareness.
“These folks surprised me with this event; it’s wonderful,” he said.
Within two days, event coordinator Michelle Walton organized everything from food to getting items donated by local businesses for the auction.
“The proceeds will go to The American Cancer Society and Moose Heart, a family organization that supports underprivileged youths,” Walton said.
Guests made donations for the chicken buffet, as well as paid for a chance at bidding on the auction. More than 20 auction items lined the tables, including meals from Texas Roadhouse and Old Chicago, plus cooking and camping supplies.
A special treat was entertainment by five members of Caravan Boheme Belly Dance Troup. They swayed their hips and swirled across the floor to hypnotic rhythms of music returning smiles from the thrilled crowd.
The Sunday shimmy was yet another local nonprofit event the troupe loves to support. “This one is a perfect example of us giving back to the community through our dancing,”said Janet Adams, troupe director.
Adding his donation to the dancers’ tip jar was lodge member George Barron, who said the lodge is a close-knit group that always supports each other.
“This was a great way to do something to help Mike and the community,” Barron said.
The sound of pool balls breaking echoed throughout the lodge, but only one of the five tables was pink. Its color designates it as the cancer pool table. Even before McClafferty was diagnosed with cancer, the lodge had the table painted pink with the names of all types of cancer printed on it, like lung, bladder and throat and breast cancer among others.
From January 2017 through October 2017, all the proceeds from that table will be donated to The Cancer Research Center in Temple.
By end of the day, the event raised close to $500 said Casey Noble, junior governor.
“It was big success today,” he said. “We all had a great time and are glad to see the love from everyone to support Mike.”