On Saturday, June 8, at 5 p.m., Preaching Christ Church will host Coty Sensabaugh, a Kingsport native and No. 24 for the Tennessee Titans, at the Kingsport Farmers Market to help raise awareness and money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a group dedicated to fighting these and other blood related cancers.
The family-friendly event will be catered by Bare Bones Barbeque and Marble Slab Creamery, with music by Ivy Road and an auction featuring Tennessee Titans' memorabilia signed by the entire team. Proceeds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society which, over the years, has poured over $750 million into research.
Chad Roberts, the minister of Preaching Christ Church, explains this rather unusual partnership.
“Churches sometimes have a bad reputation because they have this ‘we exist mostly for our own members; come see us at our church’ mentality. We do the opposite. We are out in the community to share God’s love and to have a positive impact. We are helping with this fundraiser and we are also helping with Coty’s upcoming football camp (June 15) at Dobyns Bennett. We strongly believe in forging partnerships because it strengthens our role in the community,” Roberts said.
To date, they have partnered with restaurants such as Texas Roadhouse, Beef O’Bradys, Marble Slab Creamery and businesses as varied as Marsh Regional Blood Center, Food City and Ivy Road.
While this is the church’s first fundraiser, it has been active in several projects. In May, they hosted a dinner and fed all of the foster families in the area to express appreciation for serving as foster parents. At Easter, they teamed up with Food City to hold a celebration at Johnson Elementary School where over 2,500 adults and children enjoyed a day filled with fun, ice cream, giveaways and inflatables. At Christmas, the church partnered with Taylor-Hamilton Insurance Company to provide gifts to each of the 189 children in attendance.
Raising money is the ultimate goal of this event - dollars that will hopefully insure that future families won’t have to go through the nightmare that millions of families have had to endure.
"This year, I was graciously nominated as a Man of the Year candidate by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS),” says Sensabaugh. “As a part of this commitment, I will be raising awareness and donations to support research, rehabilitation, and resources for the families that are affected by this disease.”
Dollars given to LLS have proven to make a difference over time and they will continue to do so. It is a cause that is truly near and dear to Sensabaugh.
“My older brother, Jamaar, was diagnosed with leukemia when he turned 16 and died a week later. We didn’t really have time to process what was going on - or time to say goodbye,” Sensabaugh said. “When I visit patients in the hospital that are battling these terrible diseases, or meet kids who have overcome leukemia, I am truly humbled and amazed by their strength and optimism.
“Please consider making a deductible donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Every dollar I raise counts as one vote and the candidate who gets the most votes /raises the most money is named the Man or Woman of the Year. It really isn’t about winning the title,” Sensabaugh added.
“This is about honoring my brother and raising awareness about leukemia and lymphoma.”
Tickets for the June 8 event in Kingsport are $25 for adults and $10 for children, ages 12 and under, and can be purchased at the Kingsport locations of Beef O’Bradys and Marble Slab Creamery. They are also available through Preaching Christ Church’s website at www. experiencepcc.com (credit cards only) or by calling 423-341-3589.
LLS' continued advancements over the years are responsible for the blood cancer survival rate doubling and tripling. In some cases, the survival rate has even quadrupled.
“With your support, my efforts will help fund the therapies and treatments and help save lives today,” Sensabaugh said.
For more information about Sensabaugh’s fight against blood related cancers, visit www.coty4acure.com.
Sensabaugh's football clinic will be held June 15 at J. Fred Johnson Stadium in Kingsport. The non-contact camp is open to boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 17. Instruction will focus on teaching football skills, athletic skills and developing character. There is no fee for any aspect of the camp and applicants will be provided with all materials needed to participate. However, participants should plan to pre-register by June 7. To learn more about the camp, visit http://sensabaughcampclassic.com/.