HASTINGS, NE — A church fundraiser more than seven decades old is supporting some of its own this year.

First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hastings hosted its 71st annual Ice Cream Social fundraiser on Wednesday. Senior Pastor Joel Remmers says the congregation suggests a different beneficiary every year… and this time it’s personal.

“First it was one, then it was two, then we had three gals from the congregation that all were diagnosed with cancer, so we decided that we would split the profits on this between all of them,” Remmers said.

Tara Stark, Carissa Uhrmacher and Krista Volzke have each been diagnosed with cancer in the last year. More than 50 people chipped in to bring cakes and pies and Russ’s Market donated ice cream for the free-will donation event.

“I think that what we’re called to do is love God and love each other," Remmers said. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself. This is an event where we try to put both of them together.”

The church added a car show to the event about 15 years ago and also offered a garage sale benefiting the church’s education wing. Remmers says he’s grateful the community and congregation is supporting its members.

“Hastings is a good place," Remmers said. "When they come together in order to be able to do some of these things, it proves to people that this is a good place.”