A reason to relay: Couple helps fight cancer

Published 2:00 am Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Teams participating in the 2013 Relay for Life event this weekend have been hard at work with fundraisers — and Sheri and Patrick Davenport have their own reasons for working so hard.
The annual Relay for Life event to benefit the American Cancer Society is set for Saturday on the campus of the Greater Brewton Area YMCA on Belleville Avenue with six teams participating with campsites, activities, goodies and a plan to fight cancer.
Sheri, who is one of the members of the Cirque deCure team this year, has seen what cancer can do to its victims and their family members.
“Cancer is an awful thing,” Sheri said. “When I was asked to be on a team, I thought there was something I could do to help.”
Patrick may not be on a team, but he has been supportive of the team his wife has joined.
“I know that Relay for Life is certainly a good cause to be involved in,” Patrick said. “The money raised goes to a good place and anything we can do to help is fine with me.”
As owners of Bonehead Boots, the couple decided to raise a few dollars to help with cancer research by offering up a Yeti cooler with accessories.
“The Yeti has become a pretty popular item to have,” Sheri said. “We thought people might want one bad enough to help out with a donation and get a chance to own one. Patrick helped with the idea and helped sell the chances. We were happy to raise over $1,000 just on that giveaway.”
Patrick has an additional interest in helping to find a cure to cancer and offer hope to those who have been diagnosed with the disease.
“I lost my mother and some other family members to cancer,” Patrick said. “That was certainly in my mind when we decided we’d do what we could to help raise money for Relay.”
American Cancer Society Community Representative Chris Brown said the work already done by the participating teams will make great strides in the fight against cancer.
“We are so happy with the results so far by the teams this year,” Brown said. “All of the teams have raised over $2,000 each. That will go a long way in the fight.”
Brown said Saturday’s Relay event will be a time for the community — even those not on a team — to come out and help honor those who have fought cancer and are beating the odds and to remember those who have lost that same battle.
“This is the 100th anniversary year for the American Cancer Society,” Brown said. “This is not a time to be silent but a time to be loud and help finish the fight. We have been so appreciative of Brewton’s participation in the past and we’re excited to see everyone come out and make some noise to show the world Brewton won’t be silent in this fight.”
A survivor’s brunch will be held at 11 a.m. with opening ceremonies planned at noon, Brown said.
“We are planning a little surprise for our survivors this year for the opening lap,” Brown said. “It should be a wonderful surprise and we hope that they feel honored by the special activity.”
Brown said teams will have their campsites erected and ready for the fun as the Carnival for a Cure theme is carried out in the campsite area.
“Each of the teams will have cancer facts and information and most of them will have something to offer people at Relay,” Brown said. “There will be plenty of food and drinks available that will give people a chance to help raise more money during the Relay event.”
Other events planned throughout the day will include a Relay Idol contest, a womanless beauty pageant, special dance party events and other entertainment as well, Brown said.
“We will have Mark Miller on hand for the event as our DJ,” Brown said. “One event will be a clown car race that should be lots of fun for the teams. We hope everyone will enjoy themselves during this event.”
Brown said sponsors this year include Georgia Pacific as Gold sponsor; TrustMark as Program sponsor with Gulf Coast Cancer Center, Hainje’s Home Furnishings and D.W. McMillian Hospital as event sponsors.