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State Honoree

Toni Fowler

Alabama

initiated an annual porch swing-a-thon when she was just 11 years old that has raised approximately $10,000 to fund cancer research. After losing her grandmother and two of her aunts to the dreadful disease, Toni wanted to do something to help find a cure for cancer. Her research led her to choose the American Institute for Cancer Research, which directs 98% of all donations to research, as the beneficiary of her fund-raiser. Each year, Toni solicits sponsors, handles promotion, and encourages local businesses to donate supplies for her swing-a-thon. Toni and her partner then swing on her porch swing for 48 hours straight, earning contributions and attracting attention to her cause. Four years after her first Swing-A-Thon, Toni’s event keeps getting bigger, with more sponsors and more people aware of the need for cancer research. “From this experience, I’ve learned that I’m not the only person who has suffered from a loss to cancer,” says Toni. “It makes me feel better to talk to people who have been through the same thing.”