‘Relay’ personal for Brooklere team

Published 5:40 pm Thursday, May 10, 2012

Brooklere Pharmacy employees Emily Wertheim and Ashleigh Hamm count the change collected during a recent Relay for Life fundraiser. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

For the Brooklere Pharmacy Relay for Life team, the fight against cancer is personal.

During the year-and-a-half the Alabaster pharmacy has been in business, its employees have gotten to know several locals battling the disease.

“The main reason we decided to get involved is because we have had several customers who have passed away from cancer,” said Brooklere Relay for Life team captain Katie Ji, noting she also lost her grandfather to cancer. “Through doing Relay for Life, we’ve also found out that some of our customers are cancer survivors and we didn’t even know it.”

In addition to fielding a team during the 12-hour Relay for Life of West Shelby event, which will take place at Alabaster’s Larry Simons Stadium from 6 p.m. on May 11 until 6 a.m. on May 12, Brooklere is also an event sponsor.

Through Relay for Life, teams work to raise money to donate to the American Cancer Society to combat the disease. During the event, teams camp at the relay venue and take turns walking around a track for 12 hours.

The event will also feature a lap for cancer survivors, a luminaria ceremony honoring and remembering those affected by cancer and a survivors’ dinner sponsored by Brooklere, Buck’s Pizza and Joe’s Italian.

Over the past few months, Brooklere has held fundraisers in preparation for the relay.

In mid-April, the pharmacy held a homemade bake sale fundraiser. Brooklere employees also encouraged customers and friends to fill their used prescription bottles with change when refilling their prescriptions.

The fundraisers helped raise more than $1,400 before the team “even stepped on the track,” Ji said.

“We just try to give back to the community in any way we can,” she said.

To learn more about the Relay for Life of West Shelby, visit Relayforlife.org and type “Alabaster, AL” into the “Find Event” box on the left side of the site.