OAK HILL — Terri’s Tribute, a local breast cancer awareness organization, plans to spend the entire year, rather than a single month, raising awareness.
They kicked off the year of awareness Tuesday with a celebration of appreciation at Fayette County National Bank.
“We return to where we started,” said Anthony Treadway, Terri Massey’s brother. “We kicked off Terri’s Tribute here on Terri’s oldest daughter, Jamie’s birthday. Key contributors for the last 10 years have been Fayette County National Bank, C. Adam Toney, Montgomery General Hospital, Matt Dean, and other families and businesses whom we sincerely appreciate.”
During 2019, Terri’s Tribute plans to host a type of breast cancer awareness event every month leading up to 2020, the group’s tenth anniversary.
“This year we will start at FCNB, then in February work toward a group knit-a-thon, then maybe do a painting event in March,“ said Dana Treadway, Terri's stepmom.
Terri’s Tribute will plan displays at various businesses to honor a breast cancer survivor and her family, as well as a pink walk and more.
“Breast cancer awareness needs to be year round,” Dana said. “So our efforts this year will work toward that goal.”
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The organization began in January 2010 to support a two-pronged mission: raise awareness about breast cancer, and raise money for scholarships for Fayette County high school graduates who’ve lost a parent to breast cancer.
Since its inception, Terri's Tribute has coordinated what they believe is the world’s longest scarf, made up of pieces of hand knitted and hand crocheted pink sections from women and men from across the country. Only a few states aren’t represented in the 9,800-foot scarf, which has been on display at Tamarack, at the Mountain State Art and Craft Fair, at various businesses and in several parades.
Some of the scarf sections have been repurposed as gifts to women fighting breast cancer locally and it other areas.
“The first time we got together to measure scarf pieces, it was 42-feet long,” Dana said. “It’d been an amazing gift to all who’ve added to it, or seen it on display. It’s truly a breathtaking tribute.”
The scholarship fund has since grown, with support from an annual golf tournament at Bridge Haven sponsored by C. Adam Toney. Jamie Massey was the first recipient, and Mark Morrison, a Fayetteville High School graduate, was the second.
Any Fayette County high school senior who has lost a parent to breast cancer is eligible for the funds.
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As the tenth anniversary approaches, those involved with Terri’s Tribute reflect on Terri's belief that "something good will come of this."
"As a family, it’s personal,” Anthony said. “Of course, she is missed every day for the milestones, like birthdays and graduations, the birth of my son, and the birth of Terri’s grandson, Carter.
"But the uplifting side of loss is all the support all of us affected by breast cancer have gained through Terri’s Tribute. We have displayed a magnificent pink scarf which touches everyone who sees it. We've had 10 successful blood drives because giving blood was something Terri believed in, and something which added time to her life.”
He said whether it's sharing the pink scarf, or raising funds through the golf tournament, "Everything we’ve done through Terri’s Tribute is the ‘something good’ which she predicted, something that was very difficult to foresee during her fight against breast cancer.”
For more information about Terri's Tribute, or to share memories or ideas about commemorations for the year, visit the Facebook page, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text 304-663-2410.
— Wendy Holdren