Amy and Chris Turner are busily preparing their 10th annual Christmas open house to help fight cancer.
Each year, Amy Turner dusts off her Christmas decorations and gets to work transforming her home before opening it up to the public, sending all donations to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
She has several friends and family members who have suffered from cancer or who have their own friends and relatives who have.
Her grandfather, uncle, father-in-law, husband’s grandmother, father and co-worker and neighbors have all had cancer, she said. Her coworker, Van Pham, who struggled with cancer, is one of her motivations to host the open house each year.
“This year, I had a lady donate a white tree, and she said, ‘I know you can do something with it,’” Turner said. “I said I wasn’t sure what I can do with it, but I got to thinking, why not decorate it with pink and purple in honor of cancer survivors and in honor of those with it going on?”
Amy’s husband Chris helps decorate, her friend Mary Hildreth supplies baked goods, her mother makes cookies and her aunts Betty Chaney and Shirley Efird make baked goods. Her parents, Roger and Ella Thomas, also help, and her mother-in-law helps wash windows.
Hildreth has lost several family members to cancer, and Turner said that several of her regular guests, Ken Goins, Linda Pratt, James Pratt (not related) and Becky Wallace, have also either had family or friends with cancer or have had it themselves.
The first time she held the open house, they made about $250. Last year, they made about $1,900.
“It has definitely grown,” she said.
The largest individual donation she has received was $500.
“But I’m tickled to get whatever I can get,” she said.
Last year, somewhere between 75-100 guests came to the event, and the residents of two nursing homes and congregations of two churches came the day after the open house.
The open house will be held from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 3. Their home is located at 13181 N.C. Highway 742 North, Polkton. Donations of all sizes will be received.
The Relay for Life will be held at 6 p.m. May 19 at Anson High School.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.