AYER -- President of the Business Alliance and owner of Fresh Ayer Sports, Chuck King, has made fundraising for others part of his everyday routine for years.
As he hosts regular events such as car shows in the summer and monthly open mic nights year round, King also works on several projects on the side, one of those raising funds for his daughter, who is fighting lymphoma.
In the past, King has raised money for the Ronald McDonald House, which donates money for children and families in need. He has also spent several years with the Boston Harley Owners Group, for which he raised money for cancer victims.
Last June, he raised truckloads of anything from clothing, to toys, to food for victims of the 63 Main St. fire. He used his car show the night following the fire as a way to get the word out to the community. He also used his open mic night that month as a fundraiser to help those displaced by the fire to find affordable housing.
Aside from regularly fundraising for the Business Alliance, King is now fundraising for matters a little closer to home: Working to raise money for cancer research and American troops.
King's 33-year-old daughter has suffered from cancer for the past 17 years. Having gone through multiple rounds of breast cancer, she is now battling lymphoma.
"We're hoping we can get through this one, too, " King said.
He is also fundraising for American troops overseas. King's nephew was just 23 when he was killed in Iraq on duty seven years ago.
"My nephew and I were very close," King said. "He worked in my shop. I will never be able to hear him come through the store saying 'Hey Unc' ever again."
In order to build up his funds, King makes hand-braided paracord products, including key chains, necklaces, bracelets and dog collars. He is also working on adding belts and other products to the collection. The products range from $8 to $15, and other than the cost of materials, all of the funds will go to cancer research and/or to the troops.
"One of the reasons I give to cancer is because seeing my own daughter suffer, and hearing her on the phone sick and crying, and there's nothing I can do. I just want it to stop," King said. "This is one of the only things I can do since I'm not a doctor," he said.
King is also working to raise money for a young woman in town whose father has died and is about to lose her longtime home. Although he is in the early stages of working on a fundraising plan for the young lady, King is using YouTube as a way to get the word out. "I have made a video about the girl and her circumstances and I am hoping it goes viral, so more people donate," King said.
"I believe in paying it forward," King said. "If I see a person in need, I try to help the best that I can."
King has been working on selling the paracord products for almost two years and hopes to raise as much as he can to help both causes. Money going to cancer research will not only be donated to his daughter's struggle, but also to others suffering from cancer.
If you would like more information regarding any of King's fundraising missions, contact him at Fresh Ayer Sports at 617-592-2525.