By TRAVIS HANDY
Each year dozens of teams enter the fundraising drive and an annual event to raise money and awareness in the ongoing fight against cancer. This year one team has devised a plan for a unique fundraiser which offers the public a way to obtain a collectors’ edition item and boost funds for their contribution to the cause $10 at a time.
Pulaski Sheriff’s Office enters a team each year in Pulaski County Relay for Life. They call their team “Deputies for a Cure,” and like all the other relay teams, they raise money leading up to the event. Some teams choose bake sales, yard sales or car washes, but this year the Sheriff’s Office is selling something different.
Davis said each year the Deputies for a Cure participate in Relay they try to have 15-20 team members on-site for the event, coming and going in shifts as they go to and from their own work shifts protecting and serving Pulaski County.
“All of us here have been touched by cancer, whether it’s through family or friends or neighbors, so it’s one of the causes we hold dear,” said Sheriff Jim Davis. “In the past we have had cookouts; we had a yard sale and different things and sought donations throughout the county. This year as a fundraiser we have come out with this one-time collectors’ patch. It is a sheriff’s office patch, however instead of the county emblem and so forth; it has the (pink awareness) ribbon.”
Davis said the idea came from having seen other departments use the patches as fundraising tools. The department was able to draw support from a local civic organization for their effort.
“From our Criminal Investigation division, we have Tracy Smith and Valerie Alderman working as our team leaders,” Davis said. “Tracy was able to put together this patch…and the Pulaski Moose Lodge stepped forward and supported our cost as a donation for having these patches made, so (the patches) cost the county nothing and we sell them on our own time.”
The mostly pink patch itself bears the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office name surrounding a seal which displays a pink awareness ribbon in place of the county’s emblem. The patches are turning out to be a great success already.
“We have a limited number of patches and we actually had the first batch of patches come in yesterday and they were gone within four hours,” said Davis, who reported the department sold 100 patches Monday for at least $10 each. He said a man pulled up as he was leaving work to inquire about the patches and he had to sell one he had purchased for himself right out of his pocket.
“We’ve actually had people through social media contacting us, phone calls, people coming into the office and calling us at home. We just had no idea (it would be this popular) and we didn’t quite expect them to go that fast,” he said. “We’re asking for a $10 donation to Relay for Life and, of course, we would never hesitate to take more. Every penny will go to the local Relay for Life.”
The sheriff said the department has ordered more patches already and they are taking names and numbers as people call in to ask about them. Call the Sheriff’s Office for more information about the patches and how to get your hands on one.
“We’re just happy and thankful that we’re able to participate in a cause that affects so many people,” said Davis. “Like I said, all of us who work here have been touched in some way, either through family, friends or neighbors that have dealt with this horrible disease.”
This year’s Relay for Life will be held May 17-18, from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. at Randolph Park in Dublin. For more information about Relay for Life, visit www.relayforlife.org or contact Erika Tolbert at (540) 774-2716.