By Jason A. Smith
Several local banks are participating in a month-long effort to raise money to fight childhood cancer.
United Community Bank branches in the Southern Crescent have teamed up with CURE Childhood Cancer as part of September's commemoration of Cancer Awareness Month, a bank official said. CURE's program is designed to "raise money and raise awareness" of the disease's impact on children, according Pam Milling, manager of United Community Bank's branch at 4970 Bill Gardner Parkway, in Locust Grove.
Milling said she was one of several bank employees who approached the bank's corporate officials earlier this year about funding cancer research. According to her, the primary reason she did so was in memory of her daughter, Terry, who died of cancer in July at the age of 12.
Milling said donations are critical to finding cures for cancers affecting children.
"Currently, only 2 percent of all federal funding for cancer research is directed at cancers that impact children," she said. "Still, cancer is the No. 1 disease killer of children in the U.S. Terry was battling her cancer until she died. In honor of her, we want to continue that battle."
Since the beginning of the month, Milling said, United Community Bank locations in the Southern Crescent have raised more than $130,000 in donations for the fight against childhood cancer.
The bank, which also has locations at 859 Eagle's Landing Parkway in Stockbridge and 865 Ga. Highway 20/81 in McDonough, will continue collecting donations through the end of the month, she said.