Distributor awards toolbox in cancer awareness benefit

Tom Seagraves, a Mac Tools distributor in Columbia, Mo., recently presented keys to a new, custom-made, black and pink Mac Tools Select Series toolbox as the grand prize in a fundraiser he organized on behalf of patients at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center of the University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia, Mo.

Julie Deering, supply clerk at University of Missouri Health Care, won the grand prize. Deering said she purchased five raffle tickets and plans to put the tool cart, valued at $2,300, to good use. “I already have tools in it,” she said.

The fundraiser was held through October in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Raffle tickets were $5 each, or five tickets for $20. The raffle raised $5,090 for patients at Ellis Fischel — an increase of more than $2,000 raised by a similar raffle held by Seagraves Tools in 2012.

This year, Seagraves had the grand prize toolbox custom made, thanks to Mac Tools, and he had a local sign shop put custom graphics on the box.

During the first two weeks of the fundraiser, Seagraves had the box on his tool truck so his customers could see it. In the next two weeks, it was on display at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. Tickets were sold at the gift shop.

While at Ellis Fischel, Kelly Kraus, a patient from Columbia, saw the toolbox on display and contacted Seagraves to inquire about selling tickets at her workplace. She raised $1,231 by selling raffle tickets at Columbia Winnelson Co., a business that specializes in plumbing parts.

To thank Kraus, Seagraves presented her with a limited edition model car during the check presentation at Ellis Fischel. The black-and-pink die cast Doug Kalitta Top Fuel Dragster depicts a car that was driven by racer Doug Kalitta in October to show support for breast cancer awareness.

Seagraves donated 100 percent of the money to the center so it has an impact locally. He split the money between two patient funds. The first is a mammogram fund which provides mammograms for women who need them but either can't afford them or don't have insurance.

The other fund is the patient assistance fund. This fund helps people with a variety of ailments. It helps medication, as well as provides gas money to people who otherwise couldn't get to town to get their chemo treatments, for example. 

As part of the check presentation this year, Seagraves made a pledge to continue the toolbox raffle for at least four more years.