The Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard will feature its 12th annual “Big Squeeze Weekend” Saturday and Sunday.

The event is designed not only to increase awareness and early detection of breast cancer and the health benefits of apples, but also to raise funds for the Friends of Bassett’s commitment to Bassett Cancer Research. All day, Saturday mill sales of cider in both full gallons and halves will be donated to the Friends.

Last year’s event raised a total of $4,500 and organizers are seeking to exceed that this weekend.

Bassett Cancer Institute’s mobile medical screening coach will be at the Fly Creek Cider Mill north of Cooperstown to offer cancer and blood pressure screenings to the public. Nurse Practitioner Debra Walz will be on hand to conduct clinical breast exams and screening mammography from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Walk-ins are welcome. Blood pressure screenings will be offered on Sunday in addition to the breast exams and mammography.

Individuals without insurance can still take advantage of these screenings by visiting  the coach and signing up forthe Cancer Services Program at the mill this weekend, according to a media release from the mill.

Anyone older than 40 and does not have health insurance, the Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties and the Cancer Services Program of Oneida, Herkimer and Madison Counties can provide a comprehensive cancer screening free of charge.

It can also cover the cost of follow-up services for abnormal findings of screenings paid for by the CSP. Treatment coverage is available to eligible men and women too, the release stated.

“The Big Squeeze Weekend is our way to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a special event benefiting Cancer Research. I lost my mom and a dear friend and  team member to breast cancer.

I’m proud to have our mill help fund research that hopefully will save lives,” Brenda Michaels, co-owner of the mill, said in the release.

“Saturday visitors can join in the effort by stocking up on sweet cider to freeze for the winter. We are one of the last water-powered cider mills in the nation. Watching cider being made on the big press is fascinating,” she added.

In addition the mill will offer more than 10 different varieties of New York state-grown apples for sampling. A recent Cornell University study has identified a dozen compounds in apple peels called triterpenoids that either inhibit or kill cancer cells in laboratory cultures.

A special performance by the mill’s lyricist and impressionist, Ody B. Goldy, will be held Sunday from noon until 4 p.m.

For more information, to enroll in the Cancer Services Program or to find out about upcoming dates & locations of screening events in your community, call 1-866-442-2262 or sign up at the Fly Creek Cider Mill this weekend, Oct. 1 and 2.

The screenings are being offered as part of the Fly Creek Cider Mill’s annual breast cancer awareness event.

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