Boykins woman does it again for Relay

Published 11:34 am Saturday, September 1, 2012

Southampton High School Relay team members attending the wrap-up celebration were, from left, Jena Araojo, Grayson Drake, Bethany Vann, Shellie McHenry, Haley Boykin, Adam Beard and Savannah Britt. The team was the top fundraiser for the 2012 event. -- SUBMITTED

FRANKLIN—Evelyn Ford’s mother, grandmother, two aunts and best friend fought cancer.

Her husband of 53 years died from the disease on June 21, 2011. Hunter Ford was 74. A month ago, she lost her youngest sister. Betty Moore was 70.

Those are just some of the reasons why Evelyn Ford has raised more money than any individual since the inception of Franklin/Southampton County’s Relay for Life in the mid-1990s, said former event chairman Jim Jervey. For the 2012 campaign, the 76-year-old from Boykins was the second highest individual fundraiser, contributing $2,785. For nine years in a row, she was the top fundraiser.

“Her efforts have been second to none,” said Jervey. “She puts her heart and soul into the fight and has raised more money year in and year out to fight cancer than any of our volunteers.”

During the recent wrap-up for the 2012 event, it was reported that 25 teams and 304 participants raised $124,656 for the American Cancer Society, said Chairwoman Shellie McHenry.

In its 18-year history, the local relay has raised $2.15 million.

It’s been a real grass root effort for Ford.

“I have worked my butt off,” she said. “I never did an event that I didn’t set my goal at $4,000.”

As a member of the Rainbows Relay for Life team and working alone, she’s led bucket brigades, passing the containers to motorists while collecting money on Main Street in Boykins.

“People as a rule were very, very generous, especially the truck drivers,” Ford said.

She has sold luminaries and been involved with bake sales and craft shows. Ford also has a reputation for homemade hot dog chili, which she made for fundraisers at Buck Lassister Memorial Park in Boykins.

“We’d all eat hot dogs, have a good time and people would donate money.”