County Charity Marks 7th Year 2009: Started 2002

County charity marks 7th year

It started in 2002.
Tommy Hackman, a high school student living in Pekin with his brother, sister and parents, Terry and Rebecca, had been battling acute lymphocytic leukemia for some time, and the cost of his care was wearing down the family finances. Wanting to help, Terry’s brother and his wife, Scott and Carrie Hackman of Havana, called together family and friends for a brainstorming session. They came up with the idea of organizing a benefit in the form of a “lawn mower run” to raise much-needed funds. An informal committee came together. They called themselves “Tommy’s Mason County Angels” and plotted a route through Havana. Beginning at Riverfront Park, the convoy would visit several people’s homes, with food and games provided at each stop, and host an auction when they returned to the park that evening. They garnered permission from the city council and traffic help from the local police. About 50 participants signed up, and when all was said and done, the group raised $3,000 toward Tommy’s medical expenses. Tommy’s cancer has since been defeated, but the lawn mowers still roar to life each year. This was the seventh year the event has raised funds in support of a child or children in Mason County. “It started out just for Tommy,” Carrie Hackman said. “But we had such a good turnout, and such fun, that we decided to continue. The event has grown dramatically the last few years. Each of the haircuts raised $1,000, and the hair was donated to the nonprofit organization Locks of Love. Mandy Porter of Havana is one of the committee members who keeps the charity active year to year. “We always have a good time with the lawn mower run,” she said. “We’re raising money for kids with cancer &mdash how can it not be fun”
This year, the benefit drew about 160 participants and raised $14,000.

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