Open house helps raise money for American Cancer Society

By: By Natalie Davis - The Anson Record

Amy and Chris Turner are keeping traditions alive with their annual open house to support the American Cancer Society.

Every year, the Polkton couple decorates their home and opens it for public viewing.

Despite many challenges, including standing by the side of her grandfather, uncle, father-in-law, husband’s grandmother, father and co-worker and neighbors, who have all had cancer, the couple has remained faithful to the cause of raising money for the Cancer Society. Her coworker, Van Pham, who struggled with cancer, is one of her motivations to host the open house each year.

Friends and neighbors constantly wanted to see their decorations, and Amy Turner said at one point, someone told her she should start charging a fee for people to see her house.

She said she got to thinking, “What a great way to raise money for a wonderful cause close to my heart.”

When asked why she keeps going, Turner said her father would want her to continue raising money to fight against a “disease that has affected so many of our family and friends.”

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. The largest individual donation she has received was $500.

Turner doesn’t set a goal, “as any amount would be wonderful.”

“Everybody says, ‘Well, Amy, I know it’s a lot of work,’ and it is a lot of work, but it’s such a good cause,” she said.

Despite the growing number of guests, Turner said she plans to keep hosting the event at her home each year.

“We decorate from one end to the other,” she said. “We collect Christmas ornaments and decorations. I just love Christmas.”

Turner’s recent addition to the decorations is a white tree that was donated to her. She decorated in pink and purple in honor of cancer patients and survivors.

“I would like to thank everyone for coming out over the last several years,” she said. “They have helped to raise over $10,000 in donations, and without their attendance, it would not be possible.”

The Turners’ Open House will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at 13181 N.C. 742 North in Polkton, and all donations are welcome.

By Natalie Davis

The Anson Record