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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Thomas "Tucker" Durham

Thomas "Tucker" Durham

Virginia

Thomas "Tucker" Durham, 13, of Glen Allen, Va., an eighth-grader at Holman Middle School, helped his family raise almost $14,000 last year for a local cancer center by participating in a 10K race and by assisting with a yard sale, a donut breakfast and a pizza lunch. Tucker and his family began fund-raising to combat cancer after the death of his grandfather from melanoma in 2010. Losing him was hard for me and helping the fight against cancer has become an important cause for my family, he said. His family raised $6,000 in 2013, but last year wanted to double the amount. We knew it would be hard work, and my mom needed extra help to make it happen, said Tucker. So he decided to take a greater role in his familys fundraising efforts for Massey Cancer Center.

To attract donations, Tucker posted messages on the familys website and on his Facebook page, helped write letters and emails to potential donors, and sought interviews with local radio, television and newspaper reporters. Tucker and his mother also coordinated a yard sale, donut breakfast and pizza lunch. More than 100 individuals supported his familys efforts last year, Tucker said. One hundred percent of the funds we raised will go towards cancer research, treatment and support at Massey Cancer Center, he said. When people hear about fighting cancer, most people are willing to give a donation and even if its only five or ten dollars, it all adds up.