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Geaghan's helps take bite out of cancer

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BANGOR - The employees at Geaghan's Pub & Craft Brewery are not just co-workers but family. So when one of their own, Dawna Hensley of Orrington, was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, the Geaghan’s crew did what any family would do and rallied to her side to support her in her fight to beat the disease. They even created a yearly event called Dawna's Day, where a percentage of all sales at the restaurant on a certain day are donated to Dawna's recovery. But Dawna challenged her co-workers to think bigger and give to an organization that could help everyone, not just her. So last year the restaurant gave to the Greater Bangor Bark for Life, a Relay for Life fundraising event honoring the life-long contributions of canine companions. And Geaghan's is planning to give to Bark For Life again this year.

"It was a perfect idea," said Larry Geaghan, Dawna's brother-in-law. "Dawna is a dog lover and wanted to draw attention off her and do something more for everyone in general."

This year, Dawna's Day is planned for Thursday, April 11. Ten percent of all sales that day will be donated to the Greater Bangor Bark For Life.

"When Dawna was first diagnosed, it was a shock for all of us. We were pretty upset and knew things would change drastically for her," explained Andrew Geaghan, Dawna's nephew. "As a pub, we feel our biggest asset is community development, which is a true sign of being an Irish pub, and we wanted to use that to bring the community together to do something for her, to share some love."

More than $750 was raised during Dawna's Day in 2012. This year, the Greater Bangor Bark for Life Committee is hoping to reach $1,000.

"Geaghan's support for this cause has helped bring attention to the [Greater Bangor Bark for Life] event, but more importantly it brings together our common goal of creating a world without cancer," explained Lisa Eldridge, Bark for Life event chair.

Besides grabbing a bite to eat, those who stop by Geaghan's on April 11 will also be able to get more information on this summer's Bark for Life event planned at Hollywood Casino Raceway in Bangor. 

"There are so many great causes out there," said Andrew Geaghan. "I really would love to challenge all the small business owners in the community to look at what their business does and without trying to do something beyond their means, find something they can do for the community."

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