ICARE Co-Founders Elizabeth Smith & Dee Crane
It all began at the annual area outfitters Christmas party back in December of 2006…..
Ken & Elizabeth Smith and Harlan & Barbara Opdahl would each ‘surprisingly’ receive a sizable ‘gift’ in the form of a check. At the time, both Elizabeth & Barbara had been undergoing treatment for cancer. It was difficult for them and expenses were continuing to mount.
Unbeknownst to all of them, but with help from their children, Leo & Dee Crane had been doing an email fundraiser for them by contacting a large number of their family and friends with a request for people to help with the fundraising efforts involving their loved ones. Their thought was… “If a lot of people could give a little, it would be good.” Considering the short time it took prior to December, the response was tremendous and so were the benefits to the Smith’s and Opdahl’s.
In Loving Memory Barbara Opdahl
Needless to say, both couples were ‘too surprised for words’ and only tears of joy and love were shared amongst the forty or fifty attendees at the party. That ‘Gift of Love’ from all the friends and families inspired Ken & Elizabeth to do something in the future to give back to all who had so generously helped them. Harlan & Barbara fully agreed.
In January of 2008, while returning to Orofino, Idaho from attending a Spokane PBR (Professional Bull Riding) event, Elizabeth and Dee sat in the back seat discussing and brain-working the idea of starting an organization that could eventually help many people who have cancer. With each newly mentioned idea there was growing excitement and genuine enthusiasm. It wasn’t long before pens and papers were pulled out and a logo was being constructed. The name and what it would stand for was born! ICARE (Cancer Assistance & Recovery Effort) would help those people with cancer who lived in surrounding communities of the Clearwater Valley.
The part that all made it fit together was the fact that another outfitter friend had battled cancer for many years and had recently taken a turn for the worse. Within a few short weeks, our friend, Diana Latch from Kooskia, Idaho had passed away. She was young and vivacious and was on fire for the idea of the ‘about to be’ ICARE organization.
In March of 2008, it was obvious to Elizabeth and Dee that ICARE should officially get started in memory of, and as a tribute to, Di who passed away in early February of 2008. She had been excited to help make the ICARE ribbons that remain the symbol of ICARE. To this day, she still remains with us in spirit and we know she would be thrilled to see how the ICARE project has grown to be such a ‘heartfelt blessing to those in need’.
The need has been much greater than we ever thought it might be and it is the goal of the organization to never have to turn anyone down due to lack of money. The support the ICARE project gives to friends, neighbors and family is made possible through a wide variety of sources in many area communities as well as other states. The bottom line is that it always comes from the hearts of many. 100% of all contributions received go directly to those in need.
Donations Are Tax Deductible