House for a Cure raises more than $13,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Published 4:53 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2010

U.S. soldier Branch Dildine wanted to do something more than just sell his house in Pelham after he was reassigned to an active duty unit in Vicksburg, Miss.

Shortly after moving to Mississippi, Dildine became inspired by 7-year-old Serenity Lane, a girl who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and endured oral and intravenous chemotherapy treatments.

Lane’s cancer went into remission in 2007, and Dildine found her fight and strength to be courageous.

So, instead of just selling his house, Dildine decided to raffle off 3,000 tickets for $100 for his home, located at 208 Cove Place.

Dildine set up a Web site for the cause,, but the site crashed and he was forced to set up a backup site,

As a result, Dildine said the cause suffered and he was only able to sell 130 tickets.

But as stipulated by the rules of the contest, the house would only be raffled off if all 3,000 tickets were sold. Regardless, all the proceeds from tickets were donated to the Mississippi Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“It was overwhelming,” said Dildine of the response to the cause. “We didn’t meet our minimum requirements for selling the home, but the purpose of the project was to raise awareness for leukemia and lymphoma.”

Mac Devaughn, the executive director of the Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, said Dildine and his family recently presented checks totaling $13,300, and that money will go a long way towards helping sick children and their families.

“It’s tremendous,” said Devaughn. “We celebrate and appreciate their efforts.”

Devaughn said when people like Dildine hold third-party fundraisers like the House for a Cure, it helps the society because they do not have to use manpower to work the event.

“It’s tremendously beneficial for us,” Devaughn said.