UNION — A fundraiser held at Grace United Methodist Church honored the memory of one of its members.
The Grace United Methodist Child Enrichment Program (GUMCEP) hosted a Mini March for Cystic Fibrosis on Friday morning.
Sponsorships were collected prior to the march; and children, parents, and GUMCEP employees walked inside Grace United Methodist’s Family Life Center.
CF is a genetic disease which affects approximately 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. A defective gene causes the body to produce an abnormally thick, sticky mucus, which leads to chronic and life-threatening lung infections and impairs digestion. Currently, there is no cure.
According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, scientists are writing a remarkable medical success story. The foundation’s website says researchers are quickly translating what they learn about the CF gene and CF cells in the laboratory into promising new treatments. Based on their success, landmark gene therapy studies and clinical trials on new drug treatments are now under way.
GUMCEP Director Robin Bennett said Friday afternoon that so far, around $900 had been raised and more was on the way.
“It’s amazing to me,” church member Carolyn Turner said. “The community always gives, no matter if we are in economic dire straits or not. It says a lot for the people of Union. This is a caring community.”
Bennett also mentioned that when Friday’s march was planned, she did not realized that a member of Grace had once suffered from cystic fibrosis (CF).
A brass cross and candlesticks which are displayed in one of the classrooms at Grace have been there since the 1960s, and Bennett said people have asked what they were for. After asking around, she found out they had been donated to the church in memory of Beth Tate.
Beth Tate was the daughter of Joe and Pat Tate, who were members of Grace in the 1960s. Beth suffered from CF, and while she was a member of the second grade Sunday School class in 1968, she passed away at the age of eight.
Turner said she and her daughter discussed Beth.
“My daughter remembered her always being a sweet little girl in Sunday School,” Turner said.
The brass cross and candlesticks, along with pictures of Beth, were on display in the gym during Friday’s fundraiser.
For more information about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, visit www.cff.org.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.