With September coming to an end, the Childhood Cancer Awareness Group of Coffee County wrapped up their seventh annual fundraising event on Friday, Sept 22 and Saturday, Sept. 23. There were two main events that weekend – the silent auction and bake sale, which lasted from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Saturday a catered dinner, courtesy of American Legion Post 515, which started at 6 p.m. and a live auction that followed at 7 p.m.
Both auctions offered a wide variety of items to bid on such as gift certificates, puppies, home décor, a 55-inch flat screen color TV, cargo trailers and much more. There was also a raffle drawing in order to raise money. First place winner won a golf cart, second place winner won a gun and the third place winner won $100.
Barbara Dockery, CCAGCC president, informed DouglasNow that the group was organized in 2011. During this time they held their first walk through downtown Douglas with approximately 25 people who carried gold balloons in memory of childhood cancer patients around the world. Shortly thereafter friends, parents and grandparents formed their own local childhood cancer group. During the first year, they assembled their first silent auction in the old Powell’s Drug Store building. “I wasn’t quite sure that a silent auction would be that big of a hit in Douglas,” she said. She anticipated that the auction would bring in $1500-$2000 not knowing that they would triple their estimate.
They decided to move the event to the smaller gym at the Central Square Complex after realizing the success of the previous silent auction. The support of the event grew so large that they had to utilize both gyms. It wasn’t until three years ago that they decided to split the event into two, a silent and live auction. She further revealed that the silent auction created a larger audience and was used as a way to disguise any bidders.
According to Dockery, CCAGCC was able to profit $172,000 after last year’s auction. These funds were used to assist families in travel, lodging and food expenses without an application. Any additional assistance such as rent, car payments, utility bills and more is received through an application and has to be approved by the board of directors. “Life goes on after a child is diagnosed and bills don’t stop,” said Dockery after explaining the importance of these funds.
In this last year, CCAGCC was able to assist approximately 15 families. Dockery recalls the group starting with only 20 members and how it has expanded to at least 150 people. She explained how many of them volunteer their time during each year’s auction. Due to the support of the community and members, CCAGCC has been able to step up for the past six years and provide families that are affected by childhood cancer with the financial and emotional support to fight and conquer cancer.
Jim Aldridge won a puppy, Oliver, during the silent auction, Sept. 22