Tackling Cancer for Kelsey

28-year-old woman battling breast cancer a second time


Sparta is about community. The people of this community are quick to rally together to support their own, and they will be doing so again, on Nov. 18, with the Tackling Cancer for Kelsey Brady fundraising events.

Brady, who is just 28 years old, recently announced that she is battling breast cancer for the second time and that she was being sent to MD Anderson Cancer Clinic, in Texas. She also announced that her insurance denied claims to pay for the needed treatment out of state. So, the White County community stepped up.

A fundraiser was planned. Then another. And another. In the end, there are four fundraising activities being held at the White County Sports Complex, on Highway 70, this weekend and another took place this past Saturday, Nov. 11.

What started as plans for a Chili Cook-Off has grown to include a vendor sale, with over 18 vendors participating, as well as a live auction hosted by True North Real Estate who is volunteering their services for the event.

Beginning at 11 a.m., the public is encouraged to visit and shop with vendors, place bids for auction items, and purchase tickets to be official “taste testers” to determine the winner of the Chili Cook-Off, which has been sponsored by Home Church who has provided all of the bowls, spoons, and other necessities to make the event a success. There will also be a Kids’ Fun Zone, sponsored by Gum Springs Baptist Church, to make sure that there is something for members of the whole family to enjoy.

In addition, at the adjoining baseball fields, there will be a kickball tournament for youth in the community. While several teams have already registered, organizers say there is still room for individuals who can pay $5 to be placed on a team.

“The community really came forward to help me at my benefit a few months ago, so I wanted to be able to give back and be a part of this benefit helping someone else,” Jamie Sawyer, who is currently battling breast cancer herself, said.

Sawyer has been organizing the kickball tournament and said that the idea came after realizing there were leftover items in the concession stand from the spring season of baseball.

“Once that got thrown out there, my wheels started turning,” Sawyer said. “I actually first thought we should do a baseball/softball tournament, but the president, Don Pearcy, mentioned kickball so any and all of the kids could play. There’s no expense for kickball, and the kids practice it weekly at recess. Kyle Brady served on the Little League board with us, and this was just our way of giving back to him and the Brady family.”

On Nov. 11, the Miss Crowning Courage Pageant, which was sponsored by LaLa’s Cupcakes and Diamond Athletics, was held at White County High School and raised $1,500 to donate to Kelsey Brady for her medical expenses.

Hillary Huddleston, who was asked by event founder Tia Johnson to help with the overall organization and running of the Tackle Cancer for Kelsey Brady event, said the need for volunteers is still a priority and are needed in the following areas:

  • Chili Cook-off Event: Volunteers will help run and coordinate the chili cook-off. This is sure to be a fun time. Volunteers will also help collect and tally votes.
  • Vendors: We are going to have vendors at this event and we will need people to help with setting up and making sure our vendors & their booths are running smoothly.
  • Kids’ Zone: If you love helping with kiddos, this might be your perfect spot. We’re going to have a lot of fun activities - this would be great for some of our responsible high school/college-aged volunteers.
  • Parking Lot: We will need help with making sure attendees know where to park - if you’re a fan of following the lines, and the rules, this would be the perfect spot.
  • Admission Gate: If you’re great at greeting people and helping lines move smoothly - you may have found your dream volunteer opportunity.
  • General: We’re going to have a TON of important and miscellaneous happenings and events throughout this fundraiser, and if you’re game, we’ll help you find a fun and meaningful spot to help.

Anyone who would like to volunteer can find a sign up link on the Tackle Cancer for Kelsey Brady Facebook Event page or email coordinators at KBBenefit@gmail.com.

“Sometimes we should all get up and do something,” Huddleston said. “It’s important to act sometimes.”     


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