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Annual Glory Hope & Life tailgate party benefits cancer patients
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Silent auction items included this cooler filled with University of Georgia paraphernalia. - photo by Kristen Oliver

Glory Hope & Life

Where: 725 Jesse Jewell Parkway, Suite 270, Gainesville

Contact: 770-533-4705

More info: www.gloryhopelife.org

A tailgate party Thursday celebrating Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Braves also benefited cancer patients in North Georgia.

Glory Hope & Life held its annual Tailgate Party at Scott’s Downtown in Gainesville on Thursday evening. The event included food, drink and both live and silent auctions to support the organization.

The registered nonprofit and its board of directors work to provide opportunities and support for cancer patients, families and caregivers, according to board chairwoman Jackie Cooley.

“We help all cancer patients,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of cancer they have. We work through the nurse navigators. They come to us and tell us what their patients’ needs are, because they’re with the patients at the doctor’s office, so they know if they need food or if they need transportation or if they need a wig because they’ve lost their hair.

“We do a lot of different things to help these patients.”

Jackie Cooley’s husband, Counte Cooley, acted as emcee for the evening and led the live auction. Counte Cooley said the live auction items included a freshwater pearl necklace valued at $500, a Georgia football signed by head coach Kirby Smart, a baseball signed by former Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox and a football signed by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, among other things.

The silent auction included several tailgate-inspired baskets and items guests could place bids on.

“This is a drop-in casual event that’s sports-oriented,” Jackie Cooley said. “It’s our major fundraiser for the year.”

Approximately 200 people attended the event, which is one of a few fundraisers for the nonprofit each year, including the Little Black Dress Party each spring.

“We also apply for some grants and have individual donations and sponsorships,” Jackie Cooley said.

Last year, the nonprofit spent $140,000 in direct support to cancer patients, she said. The organization has “grown a lot,” but unfortunately, so has the need and demand.

Thursday’s event was bittersweet, as the Glory Hope & Life board of directors recognized Nancy Copper, one of its members who died of cancer Wednesday.

“Cancer truly knows no boundaries,” Jackie Cooley said. “She was a young woman — just 45. So we’re remembering her tonight. She was a wonderful girl and she loved Glory Hope & Life. She wanted to do everything she could for cancer patients.”

For more information on Glory Hope and Life, go to www.gloryhopelife.org.

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