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'Way to the Cure' is starting 14th year

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

If not for the work of two women, the effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society in Fayette County would likely end.

Bertie McKenna and Yvonne Smith have co-chaired the Fayette County Way to the Cure “Research,” formerly known as Relay for Life, and have done most of the work for the past few years.

During 2018, their effort raised more than $18,000 to fight cancer. They’ve got plans for this year.

The year’s first activity is the annual basketball tussle Feb. 15 between rivals Connersville Spartans and Franklin County Wildcats at the ‘Cats lair. The game is now known as “Beat Cancer in 4 Quarters.”

Besides a traveling trophy for the game’s victor, the school that raises the most money also gets a traveling trophy, both sponsored by FCN Bank.

Franklin County High School raised more than $12,000 last year, topping Connersville High School’s $4,300 for ACS.

“They have the money trophy and we have the game trophy,” Smith said. “We want both trophies.”

Beat Cancer in 4 Quarters T-Shirts will be available for purchase at Spartans home games on Feb. 2, 7 and 9, McKenna said. The shirts will be a new design with different color for each school.

A bucket will be passed around at the game by a brother and sister and their friends, seeking donations that night as well, she said.

CHS Athletic Director Brent Duncan is spearheading fundraising efforts in the schools. He is working with the student council to organize penny wars at the elementary schools and quarter wars at the middle school and high school, McKenna said.

McKenna said in the next few weeks she will be visiting businesses and industries seeking donations and trying to encourage those companies to get employees involved. Churches will also be contacted.

Shoppers should also keep their eyes open for cans on counters in local businesses where change, or even bills, can be added to fight cancer, she said.

McKenna said a boot drive will be June 22. 

Smith said a woman drove up two years ago and pushed a donation way down inside the boot and left. She had left a $100 bill.

McKenna will set up a date for Stick a Fork in Cancer, with local restaurants donating a portion of proceeds to the ACS.

The largest single annual event will be July 6 at Roberts Park. At the survivors dinner, people who have survived the disease share their stories Members of the CHS volleyball team will serve the survivors.

Survivors can start registering now, McKenna said.

Luminaries will also be available for the luminaria event at dusk where those who are fighting cancer or survived cancer are honored and those who have died from the disease remembered.

Luminaries are $5. She will be at Wiley’s Wash and Lube on Park Road and Walmart from time to time selling luminaries.

Call McKenna at 765-967-2430, Bonnie Adler at 765-698-0620 or Smith at 765-265-3677 to purchase luminaries or make a reservations for the survivor’s dinner.

Event sponsorships are being sought.

“We need volunteers and teams,” Smith said. “I told them last year at the survivors dinner, if we didn’t get volunteers, we many not have it next year.”

Registration for the July event can also be done at main.acsevents.org/sitFLCY19NCR?pg=entry&fr_id=92982.

Event sponsorships are being sought.

“We need volunteers and teams,” Smith said. “I told them last year at the survivors dinner, if we didn’t get volunteers, we many not have it next year.”