Youths hope to ‘Flush Out Cancer’

July 26, 2013

A team of Carroll County youths are doing their part to “Flush Out Cancer.”

As part of a Relay for Life fundraising effort, toilets have been making their way through Carroll County. So far, those “chosen to help Flush Out Cancer” have helped the Lifesavers’ team raise $800 for cancer in about five weeks.

The idea is the brainchild of Maddie Semones, a rising junior at Carroll County High School. Semones was a friend and classmate at Fancy Gap Elementary School of Emily Beamer, who passed away from cancer four years ago.

“They were all friends with Emily Beamer,” said Maddie’s mother, Anita. “That is how the team got started and it expanded.”

Semones’ youth team now has 10 members, including herself, Mikayla Smart, Mikayla Montgomery, Jacob Shockley, Abby Mayo, Mary Beth Hill, Katie Rose, Kymbre Robinson, Dakota Lineberry and Katelyn Nester.

Semones said she started going to the annual Relay for Life event at the high school two years ago. Her mother, Anita, had started a Relay for Life team at about the same time. It was during a team captain’s meeting when the thought of a youth team was born, something Semones volunteered to help start.

Looking for new ways to raise money this year, Semones and her team ran across an online idea of using a pink toilet as a fundraiser item. It’s been so popular in Carroll County and Galax, the team has had to expand to three toilets.

“They go to three or four places a day right now, and she has raised about $800 so far over about five weeks. It’s keeping everybody busy,” said Semones mother. “They are going to continue doing this. They are not going to just stop with the Relay for Life event.”

Some folks have even placed the toilets in their yards for fundraising. Granted, it makes for some funny looks and comments.

“People have stopped if we leave it in a yard and they will go to the house and ask, ‘Why do you have a toilet in your yard?’ But it has been more successful than we thought it would be,” Maddie said.

“Plumbing Policies” for the pink toilet are $10 to take it away, $20 to give it to a friend, $30 for toilet insurance, and “all of the above and it never comes back again.”

In the meantime, the local survivors’ banquet will be held on Wednesday, July 24th in the Hillsville First United Methodist Church fellowship hall from 4 to 6 p.m. The church is located at 225 Fulcher Street in Hillsville. The evening will consist of a wonderful meal provided by local restaurants, businesses, and individuals; entertainment; and door prizes.

Carroll County’s big annual Relay For Life Walk will be held Friday, July 26 at Carroll County High School from 6 p.m.-2 a.m.