Cancer Freeze set for February

Published 12:03 am Saturday, November 26, 2011

Participation at the annual Cancer Freeze benefit has grown to allow for not one, not two, but three recipients to receive financial assistance from the sixth annual event, set for Feb. 4, 2012.

Caleb Davidson, organizer, started the fundraiser in 2007 in memory of family and friends who had died from cancer. For a $20 entry fee, skiers brave the waters of Florala’s Lake Jackson in the middle of the winter – which led to the name “Cancer Freeze.”

In February, the “Reasons for Freezing” are 2-year-old Cooper Sasser; 20-year-old Ayla Powers, both from Andalusia, and 47-year-old Michael Harrison of Walton County, Fla.

Sasser, who was diagnosed with leukemia, and Powers, germ cell ovarian cancer, have each been featured in The Star-News.

“This is our first year to be able to help more than one person, and we are super excited to be able to help these families,” Davidson said. “When someone is battling such a dreaded disease, it’s hard to think of how you’re going to cover the little things. I told the parent of one of our beneficiaries – we can’t help pay the medical bills, but we can make sure you’ve got gas money and money for food.”

The group most recently achieved its non-profit status, making donations tax-deductible. Participation at last year’s event allowed the group to raise more than $7,500 for Joy Burgans who was battling breast cancer. The previous year, more than $10,000 was raised for Straughn Elementary School student Julie Layton-Bryant.

“It takes a group effort to make Cancer Freeze a success – from our advertisers to the people who brave freezing waters,” Davidson said.

Sponsorships are $100 to have one’s company name, business or personal message placed on the back of this year’s shirt.

And for those who don’t want to get wet in February, there are a variety of other ways to participate, Davidson said.

“We’re having our first 5K run/walk around Lake Jackson at 8 that morning, with skiing at noon,” he said. “We’re also having a chili contest and live entertainment, and for the little ones, there’ll be an inflatable slide.”

For those wishing to participate, donate or sponsor, contact Davidson at 850-978-3726, by e-mail at or visit the organization’s Facebook page.