Hundreds turn out for benefit for former mayor battling skin cancer

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Doug Lachance gets a kiss from friend Emma Welch, whose known him since the 1970s. (Rochester Voice photos)

ROCHESTER - Doug Lachance may be in the fight of his life, but he's got a legion of support and love in his corner as he battles Stage 4 skin cancer.

On Saturday at the Rochester American Legion hundreds of friends and family members filled a banquet hall to donate to his cause, shake his hand and have some fun.

The fund-raiser had been in the works for about a month, one organizer said, and was put together by 10 dedicated volunteers. Another 10 also volunteered their time setting up the function hall on Saturday prior to the event.

Karen Walter arranges tables full of penny raffle items at the start of a fund-raiser to benefit former mayor Doug Lachance who is battling Stage 4 skin cancer.

Lachance, a former Rochester mayor, real estate agent and business owner, said upon arrival at the benefit that he was "overwhelmed" by the outpouring of support and the amount of folks that had come to his fund-raiser.

"It's very humbling," he said as he sat at a table talking to friends.

Lachance said he's feeling OK, but gets tired easily due to his immune-therapy treatments, which he takes every three weeks.

"I'm at 65 percent," he said, adding the immune-therapy has "a lot of side effects."

He said he's not been able to do much work with his business Stump City Hard Cider, but he has been doing a little bit of real estate work.

"I never know when I'm going to have a long period of good time," he said. "Most days it's just an hour or two and then I take a nap."

An organizer of the benefit said 175 tickets at $10 each had been presold for the event, but as the 3 p.m. start time approached many were coming to buy at the door. One man wanted a whole table reserved for his large party.

The event featured a silent and live auction, penny raffles, and food that was donated by Patty B's of Dover, and Lilac City Grill, Granite Steak and Ale and Kelly's Row of Rochester.

Entertainment was provided by the band Bad Penny.

Asked if he was going to try to dance, Lachance showed his sense of humor is well intact.

"I don't try to dance when I'm a 100 percent," he quipped.

If you would like to contribute to his YouCaring account, click here.

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