Event organizers Meredith Bickford-Thurston, at left, and Becky Curtis address the crowd at the second annual Mingle & Jingle fundraiser to benefit the Dempsey Center. Submitted photo

The second annual Mingle & Jingle holiday fundraising event raised over $25,000, with proceeds to benefit the Dempsey Center.

The  event, which took place Dec. 16 at Randall Orchards in Standish, featured live entertainment from Henry Lowery and band 12-OC. Guests bid on auction items and raffles to raise funds for the Dempsey Center, according to a news release from the center.

Mingle & Jingle started in 2022 by event organizers Meredith Bickford-Thurston and Becky Curtis, who were inspired to give back upon the cancer diagnoses of close family members. Bickford-Thurston’s brother, Nathan Bradley, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma in September 2021, followed by Curtis’ mother, Connie Loughran, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2022.

“Cancer does not discriminate and everyone has been affected by it in one capacity or another,” said Bickford-Thurston. “Becky and I host this event to help support the efforts being made by the Dempsey Center to support all of those affected by cancer.”

The Dempsey Center was founded by actor Patrick Dempsey in 2008. After his mother’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent journey, Dempsey and his family set out to provide a haven of support for people impacted by cancer in his hometown of Lewiston.

Today, the Dempsey Center has grown to two locations in Lewiston and South Portland, a hospitality home in Portland, and has adapted to providing robust support virtually via Dempsey Connects. Programs provide a wide range of holistic support that address the physical, functional, social and emotional well-being of people impacted by cancer. All services are provided at no cost to cancer patients, survivors, care partners, family members and friends.

Event sponsors include: Bronze sponsors Classic Flooring, Gray Village Hardware, Storey Brothers Excavating and Shaw Brothers Construction; Supporter sponsor Michelle Raber with State Farm Insurance; Table sponsors Affordable Builders Inc., Frame Strategies, Gorham Sand & Gravel, Great Falls Construction, Horace Mann Insurance, Moody’s Collision, Party Time Rentals, Thirsty Turf Irrigation, Shamos Paving & Seal Coating, Shaw Earthworks and Willis Real Estate.

Facility sponsors include Chaps Saloon and Randall Orchards. Rustlers Steakhouse provided a gift basket donation.


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