On Sunday, October 18, Hope for the House will hold a Poker Run, to include both motorcycles and motor vehicles from 1 to 5 p.m. to support the Nicole Hodgins Cagle Memorial Fund.
Registration will begin at 11 a.m. and the last rider out at 1 p.m. The Poker Run will begin and end at Bellacinos’ parking lot on Starkey Road. The Poker Run will be a scenic 100 plus mile ride through Southwest Virginia.
The event costs a $20 per person donation and the winning hand will receive a cash prize. During the event their will be a 50/50 raffle, door prizes, t-shirts, patches, magnets, music, food, and more.
Register by October 11 and receive an event t-shirt for $10. T-shirts will be on sale the day of the event for $15.
You can register here, but registration will be available up to the day of the event.
All proceeds from the Poker Run will benefit the Nicole Hodgins Cagle Memorial Fund and Bellacinos’ will donate a percentage of the entire days proceeds to the foundation.
Nicole Hodgins Cagle was a wife, a mother, and a friend to many. She died of breast cancer on June 11 of this year at just the age of 39. She was an active member of the American Cancer Society and was a speaker at the Pink Ribbon Luncheon one year. She was active in Star Country’s Pajama Jam as a volunteer and also active in her children’s school, Penn Forest Elementary.
Curtis Burchett was one of those friends, who has set out to help make Cagle’s dream of building a Hospice House in Roanoke to support those who are in need and battling an illness.
“Our goal is to build a house to help people,” Burchett said. “Even when she knew she was dying one of her wishes was that she did not want to die at home. She didn’t want her two young boys to have to deal with that. And also she, in her words, was very fortunate to have a support system to help her deal with her five year battle. Part of our goal is to raise funds and to build a house and have the funds to have someone to come help the kids, watch the kids, or do the grocery shopping.”
Burchett said that his entire neighborhood of The Gardens, off Cotton Hill Road, and The Groves, knew Cagle and many of them are also involved in this project to carry on Cagle’s legacy.
“We lived just down the street from her. We have a strong knit neighborhood. Everybody kind of took care of each others kids,” he said.
Marcy Todd-Hollins, who had known Cagle for 15 years and also lived in the neighborhood said, “She had always expressed and recognized that she had a lot of friends and family that stood by her as she fought. She saw lots of people that were fighting just as hard without a support system.”
Tara Nepper was also a friend and is active in making sure that Cagle’s dream comes true. She said, “We talked to Nicole about a year or so ago about what her dreams were and she said she wanted to establish a foundation. Raising funds for research is doing well and it’s needed and it’s a huge help to those who are going through cancer and their families. But her desire was to be closer to home and to recognize that a mom who is going through chemo, and needs a taxi ride or needs to drop her kids off for a while, while in doctor appointments might need this service.”
Hollins said that Nicole wanted to establish a foundation where those people who didn’t have the financial needs or didn’t have the support system or were in her same situation could come and have support.
“When she passed, we took it to the next level and we looked around and there wasn’t any kind of hospice house like this in the Roanoke Valley. The closest one was in Lynchburg,” Hollins said.
“We fought this battle with Nicole for six plus years. Its affected us all tremendously. We all want to try to remember her and honor and do something that is part of her wishes while she was dying and that is we are building a legacy for her.”
Burchett remembers Cagle as the type of individual that never thought of herself and always thought of others.
“Going through this process she said that not everybody was as lucky as she was to have a support system she had. Part of her dream was to build funds or build a foundation to help people as they are going through this- for people who wanted dignity for themselves and didn’t want to die at home or go back to the hospital. The goal is to build a house so that people with these issues will have a place to go with their families and their friends and get a break.”
Hollins said, “She didn’t want to die at home, with her boys. So her only options were to go back to the hospital. She didn’t really want to die in an institution, but she didn’t have that option. This will give them a home like setting where they can be comfortable and find serenity and dignity and grace.”
Nepper said, “I think what we want to do is recognize the fact that there are so many people out there battling the disease and there is a lot to be done to find a cure, but not everyone wins the battle. We want to acknowledge the fact that for those who aren’t wining the battle, they and their families- we want to honor them by giving them a place to end life in a dignified manner and enrich there families, instead of putting more burden on them. I guess in a nutshell it’s like giving dignity to someone at the end of their life,” Nepper said.
“We realize it’s a very lofty goal, but Nicole is worth the effort and the dream to do this. We want to let people know about this and this is one of many events to help pay for this,” Burchett said about the Poker Run.
Cagle left behind two sons, Andrew and Matt and her husband Mike.
Her friends say that one of her husband’s dreams is to have a 40th birthday party for Cagle, a Pink Tie Affair and use the proceeds from that event to help build the house. Other events will be planned in the future aand may include a fall fundraiser and a golf outing.
“If you meet people like Nicole and see the strength they exhibit, you can’t help but want to help,” Burchett said. “There are dozens, in the neighborhood, family, friends- 100 or more who through various efforts are helping with this.”
“Nicole had a huge support group. We are just a really small part of a huge network of people. We may be out there in front but there are a lot of people out there who are working diligently,” Nepper said.
Cagle’s friends remember her:
“She was amazing. She was a fighter, but she didn’t really complain about it. She was selfless in the fact that she was going through this, climbing this mountain that no one wants to climb. It helped her deal, helped her cope, because she would focus on everyone else. She never complained about not feeling well. We’ve experienced a loss in losing her because she was special. She really was selfless, she gave of her time and talents and she really wanted to beat this.” Marcy Todd-Hollins said.
“First of all she was extremely gracious, very classy. She was very concerned about you,. When Nicole talked to you she had a wonderful way of putting a person at ease and bringing the best out of them. Whenever she came to my house she always brought a gift. It was always something small, but it was thoughtful. She tried really hard that in the midst of everything going on that her family had something normal. They worked around chemo and trips to doctors and her desire was to have her children and her husband to have their normal. That was a goal of hers. She went to ball games, she went to the activities at school and she would come over for volleyball games or get togethers. She couldn’t always stay very long, but she really strived to have some sort of normal. It was huge for her,” Tara Nepper said.