Caitie’s Army teams up with Children’s Hospital

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 20, 2012

Each year, more than 600 children in Covington County seek medical attention at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.

That’s why Caitie’s Army, an organization founded to raise money for research in honor of Straughn’s Caitie Rhodes who is battling brain cancer, is teaming up with Children’s Hospital to raise money for cancer research.

“Eighty percent of the money raised will go directly to childhood cancer research,” said organizer Shelia “Tee” Terry. “The other 20 percent goes to help families when they are at Children’s for things such as gas and other related expenses that insurance doesn’t take care of.”

Terry said the “massive fundraiser” slated for Saturday will be in conjunction with childhood cancer awareness month and will kick off at 8 a.m. at the Kiwanis Community Center.

Terry said that all the Meredith’s Miracles characters will be there, along with a representative from Children’s hospital, Cooper Sasser’s family, Julie Layton Bryan’s family and Caitie and her father.

“We’re going to have a fall-festival-like event,” Terry said. “We’ll have little games the children can enjoy. We’ll also have cakes and a bike show and live entertainment and karaoke all day long.”

The annual poker run will kick off at noon.

“We’ll stop at Jackson Honda, parade through Andalusia with an APD escort and head to Adams in Kinston and then to the American Legion in Gantt and end at Soggy Bottom, where we’ll have an auction, raffle and 50/50 drawing,” Terry said.

Cost is $20 per bike and $5 per rider.

Additionally, Terry said they’ll sell brown bag lunches for $5 each.

Caitie’s Army is also collecting drink tabs, which she said goes to fund spots at the Ronald McDonald House, which is a place for families dealing with child medical issues to stay at little or no cost.

“We are hoping for a good turnout,” she said. “We need all the help we can get. We are going to do this every year.”

Caitie’s Army holds two poker run events each year – one in the spring and one in the fall.

“We will be taking nominations for the April recipient,” she said.