The potluck fund-raiser set for Sunday, March 21, at the Centreville Volunteer Fire Department will serve three purposes. Attendees may bid farewell to employees of the Centreville Barber Shop, enjoy some delicious homemade food and raise money for charity.
The event is from 2-4 p.m., at Fire Station 17 on Old Centreville Road in Centreville. The public is invited to bring a covered dish, salad or dessert and a check to the American Cancer Society.
"For the past three years, our barber-shop clients have supported our fight against cancer," said barber Vicki Surface of the Centreville Barber Shop. "Our farewell party will again benefit that cause."
AFTER ALMOST a half-century in business, the shop will close its doors for good on March 31, so the event will allow area residents and customers to mingle, reminisce about old times and say goodbye to owner Terry Lawrence and barbers Surface and Pete Peacock.
In addition, Surface is captain of a 14-member Relay for Life team that participates annually in a relay fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society. And money raised at the potluck event will help the team raise money for its contribution to the charity.
Lawrence is also a team member, along with friends and family of the two women. Said Surface: "I've always donated to it, but now it's my heart, my life."
Her brother James died of cancer (soft-tissue sarcoma), two years ago, at age 33. And her father is a 33-year survivor of colon cancer. "I don't know anyone that hasn't been affected in some way, shape or form by cancer," she said.
Even the barber shop's original owner, Gervis Grim, had kidney cancer in 1965 and died years later of colon cancer, said Lawrence. And, added Surface, "One of our team members is going through treatment for breast cancer, and she's only 45."
The actual relay event will be June 19-20 at Clarke County High School in Berryville, where Surface lives. "It's a 24-hour relay," she said. "You camp and, weather permitting, keep a team member on the track at all times."
SHE SAID the whole idea is to educate, "so that the community is aware of the risks of cancer. We also do research on a large, cancer-research facility and make the information available to the people coming to see the relay." Team members even sell luminarias to honor people who've survived cancer and memorialize those who didn't.
The event has a theme, each year, and this time, each of the 45 teams participating will represent a different state in the U.S. "We picked Florida because we're all sun-worshippers," said Surface. "Our team is called the Coconutz, and we'll even bring food — such as key lime pie and alligator nuggets with orange sauce — to carry out the theme."
The first Relay for Life was held in 1985, and now its done nationwide, at various times throughout the year. Clarke County only has about 12,000 people, but its relay event is sixth in the nation for money raised per person, and it's been in the top 10, the past three years.
"Our team alone raised $6,500, the first year," said Surface. "The second year, we raised $10,001, and last year, we raised $13,187. This year, we already have almost $10,000, and we still have three fund-raisers to go."
THEY ARE the potluck dinner on March 21; an auction, May 8, with all the relay teams, at the Berryville Fairgrounds; and a yard sale, May 28-29, at the fairgrounds. Anyone with items for the yard sale may drop them off at the barber shop until March 27, or call 703-830-0300 to arrange to have them picked up.
Said Surface: "Our goal this year is $20,000, and I think we might make it." In addition, donations payable to the American Cancer Society may be sent c/o Vicki Surface, 17 Lincoln Ave., Berryville, VA 22611.
Praising the generosity of the Centreville/Chantilly/Clifton community, Surface said the bulk of the yard sale donations, last year, came from the Centreville Barber Shop's customers.
"We moved from Fair Oaks Estates, last summer, and donated things we didn't want to move," said Ann Williams of Little Rocky Run. "She was our biggest donor," said Surface. For more information about the relay or any of the fund-raisers, call Surface at 540-303-3334.
"We appreciate the fire department letting us use their facility for the potluck, and we're hoping for a good turnout," she said. "We won trophies, the past two years, for being the top fund-raising team in the relay, and I plan to bring home a third trophy, this year."