“It has been a busy and long ride, but very fulfilling.”
By ESTHER MCCOY
CADIZ – Over 90 cancer survivors, those still in treatment and their caregivers were registered for the Harrison County Cancer Crusade luncheon held at the Sally Buffalo Park Wallace Lodge on Saturday, Aug. 4, and many of those were in attendance, according to Julie McPeak, director of the event in its third year.
“After the Harrison County Relay for Life” performed its final duties after many years, we thought we would have our own event. Thee were four existing relay teams left and we got together with them and formed a non-profit organization. It has been a busy and long ride, but very fulfilling,” she explained. “For all those here and those who have come out on the other side, we have been available. There are 40 residents who have used our services who are battling or battled cancer. We could not do this without the aid of the businesses. This is our biggest fund raising event and we have a couple others going on through the year,” McPeak said.
Regarding businesses, a banner noted the following supporters: Insulators Local #2, Orme Hardware, Mount Shiloh Baptist Church, Tony Teramana Physicians, L.J. Smith Stair Systems, Clark-Kirkland Funeral Home, Byers Graphics and Airbrushing, Cadiz Women’s Civic Club, Cadiz Lions, Wheeling Hospital, Capital Health, Ohio Land and Construction, EZ to Use.com, B.J. Hopkins, George V. Hamilton Drive In, Harrison County Agricultural Society, Walrath Insurance, D&E Electric of Ohio, Sons of American Legion, Flushing-Freeport-Harrison Masonic Lodge, LKQ 250 Auto, Mizer Printing, Homeland Realty, First Church of Christ, Koch Funeral Home, Cadiz Post 34 Ladies Auxiliary, Wayne and Sharon Cope and Goldstar Kennel.
Cancer comes in all colors was the table theme, with the ribbons of cancer designations in various colors of pink, purple, white, black, blue, orange, yellow and brown. Tall glass vases bore the words:”I am a cancer survivor,” fashioned by Joyce Brown. A survivor at each table received one as a door prize. There were 4×4-inch tiles, painted with cancer themes from the pupils at Hopedale North and East and Lakeland Academy for each member of the tables. One tile had a rainbow saying “Survivor Strong-Never Give Up.” Lowes provided the material for the tiles.
The Harrison County First Church of Christ ladies group provided the meal and their pastor, the Rev. Paul Giffin, gave the invocation. Carly Rogers, a sophomore at Harrison Central High School, sang three meaningful songs.
A very touching moment came when McPeak asked if anyone wanted to come to the microphone and speak. Deb Ferda read a short story for others who are sick to know that they are not alone in the illness. She told of her aunt, Sue McQue, calling her after she learned about being a victim of the dreaded disease. “I don’t have anything good to tell you,” she told her aunt. “I have cancer.”
“Aunt Sue said, ‘I’m coming right over’ and she has been my rock through this whole ordeal.”
“We all need someone like this to stand by them,” Ferda said with tears in her eyes. And many in the audience had tears as well.
One family, members of Team McBeth, wore royal blue T-shirts with ‘We all fight together,’ written on the back. The cancer survivors were Pat Saffell, Greg Starcher and Jim McBeth; their caretakers and cheerleaders were Andrew and Barb Cencula, Bonnie McBeth, Tom Saffell and Trey Knight, who is 12-years-old.
McPeak said there were over 50 volunteers who came to the Cancer Crusaders aid. There were those from Harrison Central who were helping with children’s games and Victoria Morrison was busy painting a pony with a pink mane on the cheek of Tomi Jo Edwards, 5, of Cadiz. Joette the Clown, from Barnesville, made a skinny poodle dog for Kinsey Hayes, 4, of Cadiz.
There was a duck pond, football toss, break the balloons with a dart, hoop toss and many more for the enjoyment of the kiddies.
A car show was going on in the infield and concession stands lined the area. The HCCC held a Chinese auction and bid auction and the car show had a Chinese auction as well. There was plenty to see and do for the day and lit lanterns were set afloat into the sky to end the event at 10 p.m.