Eight Williamsburg businesses helped raise more than $600 for cancer research at the American Cancer Society by participating in "Shopping 4 a Cure."
"Shopping 4 a Cure" is a fund raising event sponsored by Relay for Life of Williamsburg. On Feb. 28 local vendors set up tables at the Waypoint Seafood Grill in Williamsburg, and promised a percentage of their profits to cancer research.
CandleLite Fragrances representative Peg Williams said she donated 50 percent of her proceeds in honor of her son-in-law who died from cancer in 2008.
“I can see the differences in care that people are getting now are so much more advanced. The American Cancer Society has a balance of 50 percent medical people and 50 percent lay people, and it keeps it so true on the research that needs to be done in order to eradicate cancer,” she said.
Williams said that when her son-in-law was diagnosed he weighed 153 pounds. He only weighed 60 when he died. Through the American Cancer Society’s research, Williams said she has seen real improvements in patient care.
Local jewelry store owners Suzanne Kalbas and Connie Forget said that it was the second time their business, Bibbage, participated in “Shopping 4 a Cure,” and that they donated 15 percent of their sales to the American Cancer Society.
Tastefully Simple consultant Jodie Davis said that it was her fifth time at “Shopping 4 a Cure,” and that she also donated 15 percent of her sales to cancer research.
“I just think it’s really important to support the community as a whole. Whether it’s businesses, or health care or cancer research, Williamsburg residents ought to stick together and support each other,” said Thirty-One Consultant Susie Mcfatridge, who donated 10 percent of her profits to the American Cancer Society.
As of Saturday afternoon "Shopping 4 a Cure" raised about $600 of this year's total donation goal of $225,000 to the American Cancer Society for cancer research said Relay for Life of Williamsburg Event Chairwoman Susan Harmon.
Some of the vendors at the event also booked in-home service parties with Williamsburg clients in the coming months. A percentage of the sales made at those parties will also go to the American Cancer Society, and Harmon estimates the actual total donation will be about $1,000.
“Shopping 4 a Cure” is one of 15 smaller events the Relay for Life of Williamsburg hosts annually to reach its American Cancer Society donation goals Harmon said.
Those smaller events lead up to the big event, the “Relay for Life Cancer Charity Walk,” which will be hosted May 1 at Jamestown High School. The “Relay for Life Cancer Charity Walk” draws about 900 participants from the Williamsburg area, and over 2,000 attendees Harmon said.
“At this point what we’re trying to do is raise awareness and also try to recruit more teams to participate in the Relay. Events like this get the word out. They get people thinking and get people involved, and then it’s also a fundraiser,” said Amy Ritchie, a volunteer spokeswoman for the Relay for Life of Williamsburg.
At this year's charity walk, attendees can sponsor 50 doves in memory or in honor of someone they have lost to cancer, or to someone who is still fighting. The doves will be released at a breakfast with live entertainment on the weekend of the Williamsburg “Relay for Life Cancer Charity Walk” Harmon said.
“We’re going to release all of these doves to symbolize peace and hope,” she said.
Harmon said she has been involved in Relay for Life since 2007 when she walked the survivor lap with her husband. He died of brain cancer about three years after that lap, at age 31.
Harmon said she moved to Williamsburg and noticed that their Relay for Life chapter was losing interest. Two years ago she took on the task of raising awareness for the charity and said now the Williamsburg community can be counted on to support finding a cure to cancer.
“In the Williamsburg community, everyone comes together,” Harmon said. “Firefighters, police, all of the businesses, families, churches, schools. They are all participants in our relay. Everyone (who participates) has been severely touched by cancer, so we’re always trying to promote ways to help cancer patients and have more survivors.”
To learn more about the Relay for Life of Williamsburg, visit relayforlife.org/williamsburgva.
Mayfield can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.