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Article updated: 3/29/2013 5:26 AM

Elgin bar helps breast cancer fundraising

By Elena Ferrarin

An Elgin resident and her daughter are planning to participate in a breast cancer walk in Chicago and, like it has the last seven years, Hoppe's Tavern in Elgin will help with the fundraising.

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Chicago has become an annual tradition for Nancy Belanger, 55, and her daughter, Jess Bell, 33, of Chicago. This year's walk is June 1-2.

Neither Belanger nor her daughter have had to deal with the disease, but feel it's important to contribute to the cause.

"I thought I was lucky, and I wanted to help however I could," Belanger said. "Over the years, people we know have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and we just want to help."

The entry fee is $1,800 per person, so fundraising is essential, Belanger said.

This year, the fundraising will consists of two parts, a bake sale today and a buffet and raffle May 4, both taking place at Hoppe's.

Jill Hoppe, owner of the bar, said helping was a no-brainer.

"This is like a family bar, and Nancy is like family to me. We just wanted to help," Hoppe said. "Everybody knows somebody that's had breast cancer."

Without Hoppe's help, Belanger said, it would have been much more difficult to raise money.

"It's just a really good thing for a small, little corner tavern to support you. It's very precious to my daughter and I, and to our hearts," Belanger said.

The Avon Walk, which begins and ends at Soldier Field, consists of walking 26 miles the first day and 13 miles the second day. Belanger and her daughter plan to sleep in sleeping bags in park space provided by the organizers.

"It's wonderful. You meet so many nice people from Chicago and out of state. Everybody mingles, we're there for the same reason," Belanger said. "It's just really wonderful, and overwhelming some times."

The bake sale is 2 to 8 p.m. today. The second fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. May 4 will feature food donated by John's Elgin Market of South Elgin, along with several raffle items.

Hoppe's Tavern is at 1075 N. Liberty St. For more information or to contribute, call (847) 695-7060.

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