ShareThis Page

Ford City, Rosebud Mining near top in nation in Relay fundraising

| Saturday, May 17, 2014, 12:41 a.m.
Relay for Life Chairman Bill Davis and his wife, Marsha, are pictured with a banner hanging at the Armstrong County Courthouse.
Friday May 16, 2014.
Louis B.Ruediger | Leader Times
Relay for Life Chairman Bill Davis and his wife, Marsha, are pictured with a banner hanging at the Armstrong County Courthouse. Friday May 16, 2014.

Relay for Life of Ford City has received recognition as the 16th largest fundraiser among 5,500 groups taking part in the drive to fund cancer research last year.

Ford City's $480,000 fundraising effort was bolstered by Kittanning's Rosebud Mining company's team contribution of $295,747, which made it the second-ranked fundraising squad in the nation. As great of a showing as that was, it was a drop for the Rosebud Miners team that had been the top individual fundraiser in the country for eight years.

Miners Captain Wendy Powell said her team was edged out by an Alabama company that topped her team's effort by $5,000.

“This year, we're pushing to get back on top,” Powell said.

Powell said the company begins fundraising in March by raffling off several prizes to its employees, including an extra week of vacation. It encourages employees to match whatever they collect for Relay for Life.

Since joining Relay for Life in 2003, Rosebud Mining raised more than $2 million for the American Cancer Society, Powell said.

Raising money for the American Cancer Society, sponsors of Relay for Life, became personal for Powell and her family when they lost their 15-year-old son, Brandon, to bone cancer in 1997.

She captains the Rosebud Miners, as well as a smaller team with her family, who stay the duration of the 24-hour Relay for Life of Ford City.

“It's something near and dear to our hearts,” Powell said. “For me, this is as personal as it gets. I'm hoping that every dollar raised could be the one that funds the cure.”

Ford City Relay Chairman Bill Davis said the community dedicates itself to fighting cancer all year, and the event has become a way of life for many people in the borough. About 2,000 people come to Relay for Life of Ford City annually, and about 300 of them are cancer survivors.

“Most people think relay is just a 24-hour event, but it's a lot more,” Davis said. “After the event, we rest for a couple days and then we're right back at it getting ready for another round.”

Throughout the year, Davis said volunteers host bake sales, sell candy bars and hold a variety of fundraising events. They are constantly looking for corporate and private sponsorships. Davis said he hopes to bring in $700,000 this year but admits he would be happy if the group tops last year's total by any amount.

“It really pulls the whole area together,” Davis said. “I think the thing that drives us is that we just want to find a cure. With new technology and research, our chances are better than ever.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.