ROCKLAND, Maine — Twelve years ago while undergoing radiation treatment in Bath for cancer, Bob Gagnon noticed there were many Rockland residents in the lobby awaiting cancer treatment.

That led him to work to help those who also were battling cancer by working initially for a radiation center to be built in the Rockland area.
Gagnon’s friends and co-workers got together and held a dinner to raise money for that effort.

He succumbed to cancer in September 2002, but his legacy lives on.

The 13th annual Bob Gagnon dinner and auction are scheduled for Friday evening at the Rockland Elks Lodge on Rankin Street in Rockland. While the radiation center was not built, the Bob Gagnon Cancer Fund has donated more than $400,000 over the years to benefit a multitude of local people with cancer. Each year, for instance, the fund pays for gasoline cards for people who must travel outside the area for cancer treatments.
Last year, the fund provided $12,500 in gas cards.

The fund also donated $250,000 for a suite at Pen Bay Medical Center and has purchased laptop computers to be used at the hospital for people undergoing treatments.

The Friday event begins at 5 p.m. with a dinner of steamship round of beef and all the fixings, then the auction starts at 6:30 p.m. with auctioneer Bruce Gamage. Tickets are on sale at the door: $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12.

Among the items donated to the raffle are two seats on the Green Monster at Fenway Park, a print from Jamie Wyeth, and gift certificates from area restaurants and inns.

Brenda Gagnon said her husband would be impressed with the generosity of the community over the years.

“He always had faith in the community to help people when they were in need,” she said.

Gagnon, a Fort Kent native, was a city councilor and served on numerous boards of charitable organizations in his adopted hometown of Rockland.

For information on this event or information on the Bob Gagnon Cancer Fund, call 594-4259.