Downtown Douglas will soon be covered in gold as the Childhood Cancer Awareness Group of Coffee County gears up for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. The organization has announced a lineup of events, with all proceeds benefiting children from Coffee County and nearby communities who are battling the disease.
For the last several years, with the community's generosity, the CCAGCC has been able to provide financial, emotional, and spiritual support to families who have a child diagnosed with cancer. Funds have been given to families to assist in travel and lodging costs for the frequent trips for treatment, follow-up appointments, and more. Statistics show that over 10,400 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2022, with rates rising slightly over the last few decades. Cancer is also reported as the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14.
The CCAGCC, which was formed in 2011, serves a total of 9 counties, including Coffee, Atkinson, Ben Hill, Jeff Davis, Irwin, Telfair, Ware, Berrien, and Bacon. The group is funded from donations by individuals, businesses, and fundraising, and is governed by a Board of Directors who review and approve all assistance applications. Members stated their goal is to "bring public awareness to the communities as well as provide resources and assistance to those families affected by childhood cancer."
Currently, the group consists of 7 children in active treatment, 7 children in nonactive treatment, 12 young adults over the age of 21, and 11 children who gained their angel wings since the group was formed.
Suzanne Ray, a longtime member of the CCAGCC, stated, "Two years of COVID-19 has truly affected our organization. I am so thankful we have a board that has been good stewards of the money we raise. We have been able to take care of all 'our' kids even in years we haven't raised as much money as has been spent. It is a huge labor of love, but all of us (the volunteers) do it because we have all looked into the kid's faces whose lives were are trying to help. It is a humbling experience."
Next month, many events will take place, including the group's annual silent and live auction.
On September 16, Tidal Wave Auto Spa and the CCAGCC will be partnering together on the business's 14th annual charity day. All proceeds of the day will be donated to charities, with 50% being put into the CCAGCC. Volunteers at the event will also have a jar for customers to donate money toward the cause.
That night, the group will be selling Chick-fil-A cookies at the Coffee High School Trojan football game. Although Childhood Cancer Awareness Day in Coffee County will not be held until later in the month, members encourage those who attend the game to wear their CCAGCC t-shirt or gold to support the fight against childhood cancer.
On Friday, September 23, hundreds of items will be up for bid during two auctions. A silent auction and bake sale will take place from 9:00 a.m. at the corner of Bryan Street and Madison, with the live auction following at 6:00 p.m. at Bryan Street Gym. The silent auction will accept offers on items until 6:00 p.m. that day.
This year's t-shirt design theme is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and comes in Kelly green. T-shirts are available in sizes toddler through adult XL for $20, with $2 extra added per X above XL.
T-shirts can be purchased at the CCAGCC's headquarters, located next to the Chamber of Commerce across from Holt's Bakery.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Day in Coffee County will take place on September 23, and all citizens of Douglas and Coffee County are asked to wear their CCAGCC T-support in support of the fight, and the children who are and have been in the fight against cancer.
For additional information about any of the events visit their Facebook page, Childhood Cancer Awareness Group of Coffee County.
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