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Glory, Hope & Life Tailgate Party raises funds to support cancer patients
Event features football memorabilia, food, auctions
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Mimi Collins helps keep an eye out for bidders as Counte Cooley works the room to get attendees bidding for items at the Glory, Hope & Life Tailgate Party fundraiser at Scott's Downtown restaurant on Thursday. The event was held to raise money for Glory, Hope & Life, a nonprofit supporting cancer patients, families and caregivers. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Football memorabilia, gear for University of Georgia and Georgia Tech fans, items useful for tailgating, food and music were all part of the fourth annual Glory, Hope & Life Tailgate Party on Thursday night in Gainesville.

But those items weren’t the main attraction at Scott’s Downtown restaurant as Glory, Hope & Life, a nonprofit supporting cancer patients, families and caregivers, raised funds through ticket sales and silent and live auctions.

Saloni Tanna, a practicing oncologist in the area and a University of Georgia graduate, said “anything red and black is catching my eye.” But as a doctor who works with cancer patients, the event carried deeper meaning for Tanna.

“I definitely see the impact that an event like this would have on my patients,” Tanna said.

Glory, Hope & Life created by the join efforts of local groups For Her Glory, Harvest of Hope and Embracing Life.

The Longstreet Clinic CEO Mimi Collins, who is treasurer and a board member for Glory, Hope & Life, said the organization was hoping to net between $40,000 and $45,000 from Thursday’s event.

Some of the items up for bid were a signed Julio Jones jersey from his Alabama Crimson Tide days, an Atlanta Falcons football signed by Jones, a signed A.J. Green jersey from Georgia, a Georgia helmet signed by Todd Gurley, and a signed Bo Jackson jersey from Auburn.

Other items up for auction included vacations, fragrances, handbags, a ring, dance lessons and tailgating materials.

Collins said Glory, Hope & Life supports cancer patients, family and caregivers through respite trips, helping pay bills and paying for counseling. It works with the Cancer Patient Navigators at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in those efforts.

“A little bit goes a long way,” Collins said.

The group provided $100,000 of direct benefits to patients in the first six months of this year, according to Collins.

Kevin and Kimberley Boyd were excited to see a frame with photos of former Atlanta Braves Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Chipper Jones packaged together hadn’t yet garnered a bid in the silent auction. They put down a bid in hopes of securing the item.

Kimberley Boyd’s father died in December after having bladder cancer that metastasized. She said her father had a large support system, but “so many people don’t have that.” That’s a major reason why she and her husband were eager to support Thursday’s Tailgate Party.

Kevin Boyd said spouses, kids and the home are also affected when someone is diagnosed with cancer, and addressing those needs like Glory, Hope & Life does is vital.

“Having an event like this speaks volumes of the community we live in,” Kevin Boyd said.

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