Middletown event to raise funds for police sergeant battling breast cancer

White Dog Distilling Company is open on Central Avenue in Middletown. The distillery and bar offers a full bar with a large selection of bourbons, cocktails, craft beers and live music on some nights. Their house-made agave spirit, vodka, rum and gin are also available to purchase at the bar or by the bottle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
White Dog Distilling Company is open on Central Avenue in Middletown. The distillery and bar offers a full bar with a large selection of bourbons, cocktails, craft beers and live music on some nights. Their house-made agave spirit, vodka, rum and gin are also available to purchase at the bar or by the bottle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The White Dog Distilling Co. is joining with Brunning Endurance Co. to hold a fundraiser to raise money for Trenton Police Sgt. Jamy Helton, who is battling Stage 2 breast cancer.

Registration goes until Feb. 18. The daylong event runs from 3 to 9 p.m. Feb. 29. Participants of the 2.5-mile guided tour will start at White Dog Distilling, 1357 Central Ave., run or walk to Central House of Brews, Spoken Bicycles, Rolling Mill Brewing Co. and then return to White Dog.

“You’ll spend 20 minutes at each pub,” said White Dog co-owner Debbie Dranschak. “During that time you can order a beer or other drink if you’d like. Your guides will make sure everyone leaves at the same time and follows the rules of the road on the way to the next stop.”

Registration for the pub run/walk goes until Feb. 18. Registration is $20 without a T-shirt and $30 with a T-shirt.

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The event will feature a Mammogram Mobile and raffles for gift baskets valued at $80 to $100 worth of merchandise in each. There will be a Pet Lovers Basket, Downtown Middletown Shop Local Basket, Swire Inn Basket, White Dog basket and more.

Live music will be offered from 8 to 11 p.m.

Helton, formerly Jamy Chaney, has been with Trenton Police Department since 2001, first as its first female police officer, then later its first female police sergeant. She was a sheriff’s deputy for three years before joining TPD.

A mammogram last July, Helton’s first at age 43, led to more testing and biopsy surgery, where doctors diagnosed her with stage 2 breast cancer.

In August, she underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma. Since then Helton has fought an infection and now is undergoing chemotherapy, Dranschak said.

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Dranschak, who became friends with Helton and her husband and fellow officer Steven Helton as they patronized the business prior to the diagnosis, recalled the moment the couple told her about the diagnosis, which was projected to keep her away from work for six to eight months.

“She was just in tears that night and we were discussing ‘What can we do for you?’ and that’s when we started talking about ‘We’ll have an event,” Dranschak said.

Dranschak said if the fundraiser is a success, White Dog Distilling will make it an annual event with a new recipient each year.

A GoFundMe account was established in October to help raise $10,000 for the Heltons, who are parenting seven children. As of Friday afternoon, the effort was a little more than halfway to that goal with $5,275 raised.

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