More than 200 pounds of fish were recently sold for a good cause during the annual fish fry at Webbs Chapel United Methodist Church in Denver; the East Lincoln Relay for Life.
According to Jeff Huffman, president of the churchâ€™s United Methodist Menâ€™s group, the original 170 pounds of fish were all sold just after lunch.
Organizers had to go purchase 50 pounds more to get through 6 p.m., when the event was officially declared â€œsold out.â€
Huffman said itâ€™s the biggest fund-raiser the church holds for the Relay, which is scheduled for April 20 – 21 at East Lincoln High School.
â€œThis event raises about $2,000 alone for the Relay,â€ said Huffman. â€œIn total, through other events held here at the church, we raise about $5,000 for Relay.â€
Those events include a poor manâ€™s supper; a Valentine Day dinner and a â€œwomanless wedding, where male church members dress up like women and people vote with dollars on who is the best-looking â€œwoman.â€
Huffman said several members of the church have battled cancer.
â€œWe have a lot of victims but we also have a lot of survivors as well,â€ said Huffman.
One survivor, Don Putnam, has battled cancer twice in the past 10 years.
Seven years ago, Putnam said he battled prostate cancer. Two years ago, he battled lung cancer.
Putnam said heâ€™s cancer-free today, which is confirmed by regular check-ups.
â€œSo far, so good,â€ said Putnam. â€œIâ€™ll know more April 13 after tests. Hopefully, it will be good news.â€
Putnam added his advice to newly-diagnosed patients is simple; have faith.
â€œPut yourself to the Lord,â€ said Putnam. â€œThatâ€™s all I can say.â€
Putnam will be part of the Relay event via participation in a six-member Survivorâ€™s Committee.
â€œWeâ€™re responsible for getting all of the cancer survivors to the Relay,â€ said Putnam. â€œAfter we feed them, we take them down to the track for the first lap.â€
Putnam said he hopes the weather holds out for the 2007 Relay for Life; last year, the threat of thunderstorms put an early end to the event.
Church member Charlene Travis donated her time by serving people at the event.
â€œItâ€™s really surprised me how people are giving above and beyond the $7 per plate charge and how many people are showing up for the event,â€ said Travis.
One of the people who came out to support the Relay is no stranger to cancer or the event itself.
Hall of Fame broadcaster Doug Mayes, also a cancer survivor, will be honorary chairman for the event. Cancer-free for 10 years, Mayes said the most important part of the Webbs Chapel Fish Fry isnâ€™t whatâ€™s on the plate.
â€œItâ€™s the fellowship, that means everything to me,â€ said Mayes. â€œItâ€™s all about meeting new friends and seeing old ones.â€
Friends included the three-legged dog Rufus, a St. Bernard/Chow mix.
Jeff Huffman and other church members called Rufus the â€œfish fry mascot.â€
â€œHe gets the scraps,â€ said Huffman.
by Jon Mayhew