Many of our readers are familiar with the article that GON Editor Brad Gill wrote in the January issue regarding Chip Madren and his upcoming fundraiser.
Chip, now 20, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010 and has withstood numerous radiation treatments, surgeries and chemotherapy. After an uphill fight, Chip’s MRI scans were reported clear in June 2016. Still, Chip faces daily struggles with physical therapy as he strives for the goal of one day returning to his feet and walking short distances on his own.
Chip and his family began “Chip’s Nation” with a goal to raise money and awareness for families who battle through the trials of pediatric cancer. To move forward with their mission, two very close friends of the Madren family, Ally Bork, a senior at Chattahoochee High School, and Jenna Hogan, a senior at Dunwoody High School, hosted a raffle fundraiser called “Hunting, Fishing, Praying For A Cure.”
I had the opportunity to attend the fundraiser on the evening of Jan. 28. This was the nicest group of people I have ever met. In attendance were Realtree’s David Blanton and Jaye Watson with 11 Alive News. When Blanton arrived and walked up to Chip, I saw Chip’s eyes light up. All I could do was just smile at the outpouring of generosity from Blanton.
This fundraiser consisted of silent auctions, regular auctions and raffles. Up for grabs were guns, signed Atlanta Braves memorabilia, Realtree products, art, jewelry, fishing tackle, a Texas dream hunt with David Blanton and much more. That’s just some of the more than 200 donated items.
David Blanton and Realtree cameraman Phillip Culpepper stood up during a live auction to announce that they were auctioning off a turkey hunt with Realtree, which included a 20-gauge shotgun. That was not planned, but it just goes to show that the Realtree guys are great people. Even two labrador puppies were donated and auctioned off. By the end of the day, an outstanding $85,000 was raised. All money raised will be donated to Children’s Healthcare Of Atlanta, K9 Assistance, Outdoor Dream Foundation and CURE Childhood Cancer.
“Four months ago, Jenna and I began the planning process for “Hunting, Fishing, Praying For A Cure” with the goal of reaching $25,000,” said Ally Bork. “There were two smaller fundraisers in 2016. In less than two months, we had already reached our goal, so we moved it to $50,000. Two weeks before the event, we were at $48,000. Our minds were blown away by the generosity of the people around our community. Chip’s Nation started as a group of people supporting Chip and his family while Chip was sick. At that time, there was no way of knowing how fast Chip’s Nation would grow, but for the last four months, hundreds of people have showed their support and gathered on Jan. 28 to battle the beast of childhood cancer. Jenna and I are beyond proud to share that $85,000 was raised through our event. That money will change so many lives, and we could not thank Chip’s Nation enough for their support and generosity.”
To view Chip’s Montana whitetail hunt with David Blanton, go to www.chipsnation.org. The video explains everything Chip and his family have gone through.
In the future, Chip’s Nation plans to hold more fundraisers and raise more awareness for childhood cancer. Go to www.chipsnation.org to make donations and to learn more about Chip’s Nation.