'Beating breast cancer': Carter County dealership raises funds for local cancer center

Sierra Rains
An employee at the Carter County Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealership in Ardmore takes the first swing at 'beating breast cancer'. The dealership held a month-long fundraiser to raise funds for the Mercy Cancer Center.

Several employees at the Carter County Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealership in Ardmore have had breast cancer, or know someone who has. 

This year, the dealership decided to try and help beat breast cancer in a very literal sense. Anyone who donated to the dealership’s month-long fundraiser was handed a mallet and given the opportunity to smash a pink car symbolizing the disease. 

Coby West, marketing and advertising director, said the dealership has always tried to bring awareness to breast cancer due to the personal impact it’s had, but this year was the first time doing something so big. 

“Early detection is key and we’ve been directly impacted,” West said. “We’ve had three ladies in our office who have had breast cancer and several of our employees have had moms and grandmas — it’s surprising how many people have fought this battle.”

A large number of people came out throughout the month for the fundraiser, most donating around $5 at a time, West said. The dealership doesn’t have an exact estimate of the amount of funds raised yet, but plans to match whatever total they raise. 

“We’re hoping to raise about $500, and that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up,” West said. All proceeds from the fundraiser will stay local and go towards the Mercy Cancer Center in Ardmore. 

“It’s for breast cancer, but we’re actually just donating all of the money and they’re going to allocate those funds as needed,” West said. The majority of the funds will likely go towards a new machine that will help doctors at the cancer center detect cancer early on. The rest will go towards various things like helping patients get transportation. 

“That’s one of the reasons why it’s very important to us because it is something that with early detection it has a high survival rate,” West said. “That’s why it’s important to promote awareness and help people detect it early.”

After four full weeks taking a beating, the car has suffered some major damage. “It’s really beat up,” West said. Anyone who missed the fundraiser has a few more days to take a swing, and can do so by stopping by the dealership anytime between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. until the first of November. 

West said the dealership will likely hold a similar fundraiser again next year. “I’m sure we will,” West said. “This is our first time to do something this big, but we normally do acknowledge it because it is important.”