THOMASVILLE — In September, Families for a Cure spread awareness and raised approximately $57,000 for childhood cancer research.
“This is the most we’ve raised in our 12 years,” said Sharon Johnson, founder of Families for a Cure.
The local nonprofit donated $50,669.69 to CURE Childhood Cancer and $6,871 to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Both are national organizations dedicated to funding childhood cancer research and providing financial support to families undergoing a childhood cancer diagnosis.
“That’s so important,” Johnson said after witnessing a child survive cancer.
Ever since Johnson found that childhood cancer research was the least funded cancer research, Families for a Cure has fought to change that fact.
The success of this year’s fundraiser is due to the hard work and extra planning involved in making each fundraising event bigger, Johnson said.
About 800 gold bows were sold and fundraisers like the annual barbecue fundraiser soared to new heights with supplies feeding nearly 500 people.
“This year we really challenged ourselves and expanded all of our fundraising areas,” Johnson said.
Community support was also a vital part of this year’s record-breaking fundraisers.
Volunteers included the Thomas County Central High School baseball team and childhood cancer survivors.
Stones Home Center also donated money and the Husqvarna Zero lawn mower that was auctioned off in a raffle.
“I’m just so grateful to be in a community where people say yes more than no, to the extent that they donate and are willing to give to such a great cause,” Johnson said.
By exceeding the set fundraising target of $50,000 this year, a child will be closer to getting the right treatment they need to beat the life-threatening disease, Johnson added.
It also fuels the motivation for Families for a Cure to keep improving fundraising efforts in the coming years.
“We have a small group of volunteers, but as the years go by, we become a well-run machine,” she said. “We’re just going to work harder.”
Although the month for childhood cancer education has passed, Johnson encourages the community to continue to support research and awareness of childhood cancer.
“Childhood cancer is a year-round and these nonprofits can use support year-round,” she said. “We have to keep chipping and digging for better treatments to try and save all these children.”