By DAVID HULSE March 16, 2016 — GLEN SPEY, NY — When he was little and complaining about not feeling good—perhaps to get out of school—J.J. Hanson said that his dad, who worked on the …
GLEN SPEY, NY — When he was little and complaining about not feeling good—perhaps to get out of school—J.J. Hanson said that his dad, who worked on the railroad, used to tell him, “You can’t hurt steel” to get him moving.
It worked for him then, and it worked when the former Eldred Central School athletic standout and U.S. Marine officer was stricken with what has been called one of the most aggressive types of brain cancer.
Facing a terminal diagnosis, Hanson and his wife Kristen, then living in Florida, “wanted to be home,” in Yulan.
They came back, and after surgery and a long fight, “I’m now in remission,” he told the Lumberland Town Board last Wednesday. J.J. Hanson spoke before the town board on behalf of a new community effort, based on the one that helped him and his family, the Can’t Hurt Steel Foundation.
Supporting his fight and his family during the ordeal became a community effort, organized as “Can’t Hurt Steel.” Spaghetti dinners and a multitude of other fundraisers provided money for the many family expenses related to his treatment.
Now, Hanson and his many friends want to duplicate “Can’t Hurt Steel” as a long-term foundation effort. Volunteers last week outlined plans before town boards in Highland and Lumberland.
Hanson said the foundation will have three areas of interest: first to help families with cash assistance in time of illness and loss; secondly to fund wellness programs around the county; and lastly to provide support for community development.
Lumberland Supervisor Jenny Mellan asked for foundation information, which could be posted on the town’s website.
In Eldred, Mandy Scully summarized, “We want to make the community a better place and families want to stay here.”
Becky Ryman explained that $8,000 of a first year goal of $25,000 has already been contributed through the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties. When the goal is reached, the foundation will invest the principal, and its growth will fund continuing future grants. “The fund will remain, even if everyone involved now moves. It’s a win-win for all,” she said in Eldred on March 8.
“We’re looking for events,” Ryman said, and for those who can’t spare cash contributions, she said, “We need volunteers.”
Fundraising has begun with a “#CANTHURTSTEEL” sweatshirt sale, which can be found on the group’s Facebook page. There is planning for a May 6 kick-off launch banquet, with silent auction, a 50-50 raffle at Koinonia, wellness seminars, and an October 5k run.
In other Lumberland business on March 9, the board unanimously approved a resolution, based on the Town of Highland resolution (see page 3), opposing the proposed Millennium Pipeline compressor station plan.