On Aug. 4, a special kind of benefit will be held for a lady who has many ties to the Story and Boone counties area as she continues to battle an invasive form of breast cancer in both breasts.


Mary Catlett, who at one time served as managing editor of the Boone News-Republican and also worked as a reporter for the Dallas County News of Gatehouse Media, which also owns the Ames Tribune, Nevada Journal and Tri-County Times, is a two-time breast cancer survivor who has just finished six rounds of chemotherapy.


“Mary Catlett is a funny lady, but her situation is no joke,” said benefit organizer Stacey Kimberlin, of Ankeny, “She’s quick with a quip and eager to put others at ease when the discomforting topic of cancer treatment arises. Her positive attitude isn’t going to pay the bills, however.”


To help defray mounting medical expenses for this singer, humorist and theatre aficionado, her friends are organizing a benefit to be held at Groucho’s Lounge in Urbandale, from 5 pm. to 2 a.m., starting on Friday, Aug. 4, and featuring karaoke and a live auction starting at 7 p.m.


Catlett, who has many relatives still living in the Story County area, now lives in Des Moines. After a year of being considered cured, she was diagnosed in November of 2016 with the latest reoccurence, quickly followed by the discovery of cancer in the right breast as well. To add insult to injury, the discovery was made on the anniversary of her father’s death from cancer, whom Catlett had spent many years caring for and who was a Nevada native and son of a World War I veteran. His name was Roscoe Catlett.


Catlett may need two more surgeries and will start radiation the week of the fundraiser. Her ability to work may be limited, and any time off will be unpaid. This is why friends have stepped in to try to help.


Karaoke songs and music will be donated by Margie and Ron Dahlberg of All Night Long Entertainment and formerly of Billy Joe’s Pitcher Show. The auction will include items and gift baskets donated by local restaurants and busineses like Des Moines Playhouse, Tallgrass Theatre, Altoona CAP and signed items from the Civic Center and Nashville singer/songwriter Sydney Lett.


Groucho’s Lounge is located at 2763 NW 86th St., Urbandale. The benefit is open to the public and a free-will offering is encouraged at the door.


For more information or to volunteer, contact organizer Stacey Kimberlin at benefitmaryc@gmail.com, join the Facebook event, or donate directly at GoFundMe or the YouCaring site at: https://www.youcaring.com/marycatlett715856?fb_action_ids=10209548854011625&fb_action.