West Point second in the nation for volunteer fundraising event

Staff Writer

Betty Sparrow is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, as Congressional District 1 Action Lead Volunteer. She sells hand-painted luminairies and gourds in honor of and in memory of those who have battled cancer.

"These fundraisers go on all year," Sparrow said. "I have always just wanted to be in the top ten of fundraising. This is a national honor, I was up against people from metropolitan areas with huge populations. West Point Mississippi was second in the nation for this year's fundraiser."

Sparrow was in fifth place three days before the top 10 fundraisers were announced. She was afraid someone would overtake her and knock her from the spot.
She had nothing to worry about. After raising $7,200, selling luminaries and gourds. She was in second place.

"A doctor up north came in ahead of me with $17,000," Sparrow said. "His wife had recently died of cancer and he asked for donations for ACSCAN in lieu of flowers. I'm just happy to see money that is going for cancer research. But I am so proud of West Point and all the support and help they gave me."
As far as volunteer donors. went, she was second in the nation. There were a few ahead of her, but they had a payroll to hire people to fundraise. They were not in the same final group.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, is very similar to Relay For Life, but they are a different entity. Both are raising money and awareness for cancer research.
Cancer does not care if you are young, old, healthy or not, black, white or brown, rich or poor. Cancer does not care. It touches us all. Everyone has lost a friend or family member. Everyone knows someone who is actively fighting, has beaten cancer, or who has lost the battle. It may even be you. Research has progressed the ways to fight cancer. More people survive now than ever before. But there is still more to be done.

"I'll begin working on bags in the winter, when I have a lot of time," Sparrow said. "Then we have the event in September. I am truly passionate about this fundraiser. Each bag will have the person's name, favorite color, a butterfly in the color that identifies the type of cancer and something special to them. None are just alike. I ask for a $10 donation, but there are wonderful people who donate more than that because the person they lost was so special to them."

She is always looking for people who are willing to volunteer their time to send emails, make phone calls and attend events in the battle against cancer.
Sparrow said she cannot express her appreciation to the generous people in West Point who were willing to help her with her fight to raise money for research to one day irradicate cancer.