FLORALA, Ala. (WDHN) — In this week’s What’s Good in the Neighborhood, we head down to the town of Florala in southern Covington County.
For the last 13 years, Cancer Freeze has raised more than a half million dollars for those battling cancer.
Walton County sheriff’s deputy Caleb Davidson and his wife, Jennifer, along with numerous volunteers founded Cancer Freeze in 2007. Caleb lost both his uncle and grandfather to cancer.
On the first Saturday in February, the Cancer Freeze holds water skiing and other events on Lake Jackson. Some 13 years after its founding, the event has raised more than a half-million dollars through sponsorships and entry fees.
Each year, six people within a 60-mile radius of Florala are chosen to be recipients of Cancer Freeze donations. This year, six recipients were chosen to split the proceeds, each totaling around $50,000. The money helps with travel expenses for cancer treatment.
“Thirteen years ago, I could name all the people that were here because I knew them all by first name,” “Now, there’s a couple thousand people that show up every year, and we end up raising a lot of money for some really awesome folks.”
South Walton High School junior Andrea Delgadillo travels to Pensacola Children’s Hospital for leukemia treatment. This year, she’s one of six individuals chosen by the Cancer Freeze board of directors to receive financial help.
“I’m super blessed that I was able to join Cancer Freeze 2019,” Andrea said. “It has really touched my life, ever since I got diagnosed.”
For Caleb’s wife, Jennifer, she wonders who benefits more from the annual event attended by thousands along the Florida-Alabama line. Jennifer says to give is a blessing in itself.
“All of the past recipients that are able to, they come back every year,” Jennifer said. “Some of those have passed away. We say they’ve earned their angel wings, and their families come back and represent them so that’s one of my favorite parts, to see them all come together for this day. We’re like one big family.”
From humble beginnings, Cancer Freeze now includes a host of events including an antique car show, live auction, and even a chili cookoff. Caleb and Jennifer’s dream of helping those with cancer has gone well beyond their wildest expectations.
The Cancer Freeze board of directors will take applications of cancer patients within a 60-mile radius to see who will be selected as a recipient of that non-profits’ generosity in February 2020.