In recognition of September as Lymphoma Awareness Month—as well as in honor of former city employee Kelvin Tainatongo who recently died from the disease—the city of Lancaster and various partners raised $4,200 for donation to blood cancer research via the charity of the Tainatongo family’s choice.

Blood cancer includes a variety of malignancies such melanoma and leukemia.

The fundraising effort was spearheaded by the contributions of many local businesses, non-profit organizations and other community members.

“Thanks to the outpouring of generosity from our community, we raised thousands of dollars toward finding a cure for blood cancer,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “On behalf of the city of Lancaster, I’d like to extend my gratitude to all of the organizations and individuals who came together in recognition of Kelvin and all those whose lives have been impacted by cancer.”

In September, fundraising collection jars were distributed at city facilities and businesses throughout Lancaster. Several organizations, including High Desert Medical Group, Kid’s Charities/Kyle D’Errico Fund, and R. Rex Parris Law Firm made donations to the cause. Several city staff members contributed personal donations of more than $100 each; Lancaster Maintenance Yard brought in more than $300.

The last Tuesday in September was “Mustache Day” in Lancaster during which city staff members and all city residents were encouraged to either not shave their mustache or wear a fake one during their daily activities in an effort to draw attending to the Lymphoma awareness cause. Tainatongo wore a mustache. The city also illuminated several of its facilities in lime green lights which is the official Lymphoma awareness color.

Other local businesses that contributed to the fundraiser included: 1800 Burritos and Tacos, Antelope Valley Union High School District, Brooklyn Deli, California Bank and Trust, Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Garrison Family Medical Group, Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, Lancaster Sheriff’s Station, the office of California State Sen. Sharon Runner, Oxford Inn Lancaster, Passantino Andersen, Pour D’Vino, Pueblo Viejo Restaurant, the Tech Gods, the Tire Store, and TownePlace Suites by Marriott..