AUGUSTA — Hundreds of people, many wearing purple Team Lucas bracelets or T-shirts, showed up at a celebration at the Cony High School football field to support Alison Lucas and her family.

Around 10 friends and community members calling themselves Team Lucas organized the event, which featured a band, food donated by local merchants, kids’ activities and a dunk tank, to help raise money for the Augusta family. Alison Lucas was diagnosed with cancer in May.

Gary Lapierre, a friend of the family, helped organize the event and said he hoped to bring in $15,000 to $20,000 for the family to use for medical bills, other expenses or whatever else they need.

Chip Lucas, Alison’s husband, said Saturday that the support from the community has been overwhelming for the family.

“I never understood what true community spirit was like until I saw the gathering today. It’s just very overwhelming,” Lucas said. “I can never thank these people enough. I can’t thank the community enough.”

Their son, Ben Lucas, led the Cony Rams football team to a state championship last fall. He posed with the championship trophy and fans for pictures as part of Saturday’s fundraiser.

Lapierre said he knew Ben, who won the Fitzpatrick Trophy as the best senior high school football player in Maine last year, would help raise the profile of the effort and bring in more support.

“I think people are drawn to that. They just know this family’s hurting,” Lapierre said.

Lucas was set to go to the University of Maine on a football scholarship this fall, but is taking the year off.

Several of Ben’s former teammates volunteered at the event, running games or selling food.

Elias Younes, a senior at Cony who was helping run a throwing game, said he was volunteering at the event to support Ben. He said Lucas was always there for his teammates and not just on the football field.

“Even if you’re not playing, you’re still teammates. It’s like family,” Younes said.

Lapierre, who is a vice president and loan officer at Kennebec Savings Bank, said he first thought the group would raise around $3,000. But a week after his daughter set up an online fundraising page, it had already raised $7,000. The fundraising account started on was up to more than $13,000 before Saturday’s event.

“All of a sudden people were just dropping checks off at the bank as anonymous donations,” he said. “It just kind of blew my mind.”

The purple Team Lucas rubber bracelets that have been for sale at several local businesses have raised around $2,000 on their own, Lapierre said.

“Anybody in this whole Team Lucas group will tell you, anybody that we’ve asked, not one said I can’t help you. It’s all been yes, yes, yes, yes. It’s amazing,” he said.

Lapierre said Laura Benedict, owner of The Red Barn restaurant, helped get her distributor, Performance Food Group Northcenter in Augusta, to donate the food for the event. The Augusta Walmart also donated a flat-screen television and an Apple iPad to be raffled off as door prizes.

Lapierre said the donations made through the online fundraising page go directly into a bank account opened by Alison Lucas’ father for the family. All proceeds from Saturday’s event and future fundraising will go there, he said. The group also plans to hold a benefit comedy event sometime in the fall. The family members can use the money for whatever they want, Lapierre said.

“If it makes them, in a better place as a family, that’s all we’re shooting for,” he said.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig

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