St. James Plantation Wins American Cancer Society Relay For Life Research Hero Award

WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Residents of the St. James Plantation in Southport were one of the top three fundraising teams of more than 19,000 nationwide and won the American Cancer Society’s Hero of Research Award in recognition of their support for Relay for Life in 2021.

The team from the large community of active retirees raised more than $210,000 – easily eclipsing the $165,000 needed to qualify for the award – for the Cape Fear area Relay For Life.

On Wednesday, June 15, the St. James Plantation team will host a dinner party from 5-8 p.m. at the St. James Community Center.

The Research Hero Award allows the St. James Plantation team to name an existing postdoctoral fellowship in honor of a loved one or their team. They chose to name a research project by Jess Hebert, PhD, at Stanford University, the St. James Community Research Project. The three-year grant studies the genetic determinants of immune evasion by metastatic lung cancer.

“The American Cancer Society was founded by a small group of people committed to saving lives,” said Rachel Urban, executive director of the American Cancer Society in central and eastern North Carolina. “One hundred and eight years later, St. James is proof that, despite many obstacles, cancer caregivers and families are the most powerful force. Nothing is forbidden to this group. We are very grateful to this team, this community and this group of individuals.

“The St. James team has seen several team members lose their battles with cancer in 2020 and 2021,” said Liz Knapp, who has chaired the team for the past two years. “Their passing reinforced our desire to have a meaningful impact. When we heard about the Hero of Research scholarship, we immediately knew it was something we wanted to achieve. Cancer has touched too many people in our community.

The St. James Plantation team, made up of 46 community residents, is not new to the fight against cancer. Over the past 25 years, the St. James Plantation community has raised over $2 million for the American Cancer Society. With the COVID-19 pandemic still having a huge impact on in-person events last year, the St. James Plantation team got creative – partnering with local businesses to host tastings and dinners virtual wine shows, two 5K events, a golf tournament and a concert among their many fundraising activities.

“We live in a very, very giving community,” Knapp said. “COVID, I think, made us think outside the box and realize that we couldn’t just do the same four or five things and expect the same results when people weren’t, at that time, holding rallies. . We had to think virtually, what else could we do to keep the fundraiser alive without expecting 200 people to show up to an in-person event? Considering that a lot of local businesses were hurting, part of the conversation was ‘How do we support them when they support us at the same time? What is a win-win? We tried to do things that would benefit businesses while making us money.

The American Cancer Society is the largest private, nonprofit, nongovernmental funder of cancer research in the United States and has played a role in many major breakthroughs in cancer research over the century. last. ACS has invested more than $5 billion in cancer research since 1946, all to find more and better treatments, uncover the factors that can cause cancer, and improve the quality of life for cancer patients.

Relay For Life is a movement, a community of like-minded survivors, caregivers, volunteers and participants who believe the future can be cancer-free.

Comments are closed.