"It is a very big organization in the Delta," said Roslyn McNeer, who lost her husband, Willie, to cancer just a year-and-a-half ago. "There are several teams based in Cleveland and all do a wonderful job of raising donations for Relay For Life.
"One team I am currently advocating is Team Parks. Two of my friends who are teachers at Parks Elementary made a quilt to honor those affected by cancer," said McNeer.
First grade teacher Memrie Melton and kindergarten teacher Beverly Van Namen embroidered and sewed 20 14-inch quilt blocks together to make a twin-size quilt.
"This quilt was the brain-child of Memrie," said Van Namen, "She knows how to sew and asked me to help with the embroidering. I enjoy helping friends and we have such a love for our school and students. We thought it would be a great way to support our school and community and lead by example for our students. So many of them have felt the effects of cancer just as we have.
"My sister-in-law has battled bone cancer twice and I have lost two brothers-in law to cancer," said Melton.
"Both my mother and grandmother had colon cancer and my father-in-law had lung cancer," said Van Namen. "It makes you more aware and you get more checkups."
It took several months to organize and complete the project.
"We worked on it throughout the school year. We began right after school started in August and were sewing at Easter in April," Melton said.
Parents and staff members of Parks, and employees of Delta State University and Baxter's were asked to donate $10 for each name they would like to have embroidered on the quilt.
Almost $1,000 was raised from the making of the quilt, which was nearly half of Team Parks' donation this year.
"Material for the quilt was donated by Barbara Blaylock of Timily's and other Relay For Life teams gave T-shirts for the cause," said McNeer, whose husband's name appears several times on the quilt.
The quilt is being raffled off at Relay For Life 2013. Tickets are $1 and will be available until the day of the event. Donations are tax deductible.
It is currently on display at McNeer's Electrolysis Clinic inside the Reese Building at 801 Miss. Highway 8 East in Cleveland.
"It has previously been at Planter's Bank. We are currently in the process of contacting several other businesses around town with heavy traffic," said McNeer, "We would like to see it displayed in Baxter's, the hospital and Delta State so the family members can see the names of the honorees."
Melton said, "This began as just a Team Parks fundraiser but it is open to all teams. The money other teams raise from raffle ticket sales will be donated to Relay For Life in that team's name. It's all for the cause — 100 percent of the donations go to Relay For Life."
For more information, contact Susan Sizemore at 662-588-6275.