BECKLEY, W.Va. — The success of “Terri’s Tribute” battle against breast cancer has visible ties to cancer awareness, art and community.
In 2009, when Oak Hill, W.Va., resident Terri Lynne Massey lost her four-year battle with breast cancer, it was her local community that took up two challenges: Raising money for scholarships for kids who’ve lost a parent to breast cancer and raising awareness by creating the world’s longest pink scarf as a tribute.
Awareness of Terri’s Tribute grows with the growth of its most visible symbol: The world’s longest pink ribbon scarf. Made of knitted and crocheted pieces from 36 states and three countries, the nearly 8,800-foot pink scarf tribute that has been displayed at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia. Officials at Tamarack estimate nearly 200,000 guests have seen the scarf since 2010. Scarf contributors and Tamarack guests are encouraged to include personal notes, which are attached to the scarf when it’s displayed at times during the year.
Pieces are always accepted toward the length of the scarf. Another 100 feet was added recently with the addition of 71 feet from a group from Fayetteville.
Tamarack officials are working to gain pink pieces from the 11 states not represented in the scarf: Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nebraska, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont.
“We know part of the reason the scarf project took off was because it was displayed at Tamarack,” said Terri’s Tribute representative Dana Treadway
The scholarship fund also continues to grow, benefiting from donations and the sale of T-shirts, handmade jewelry and numerous community events such golf tournaments and, most recently, an event by the Historic Fayette Theater.
HFT’s production of ‘Love, Loss, & What I Wore” is a collection of anecdotes by Nora and Delia Ephron. It’s based on a book by Ilene Beckerman. One scene, titled “Geralyn’s Story,” relates a 27-year-old woman’s breast cancer battle. “Of course, it’s both a heart-wrenching and poignant story told with humor and realism,” said Treadway, who was Terri’s stepmother.
“I was impressed with Terri’s Tribute,” said HFT Director Gene Worthington. “Raising money for kids who’ve lost a parent to breast cancer is commendable, and was the reason we supported them with this fundraiser.”
Proceeds from the HFT’s current production, and other fund-raisers, recently generated more than $500 to Terri’s Tribute.
“The Historic Fayette Theater has been lovingly supported by our communities for over 20 years. We are honored to be able to return this support by being part of a valued local breast cancer support group such as Terri’s Tribute,” said HFT Board member Sandi Shrewsbury.
Officials with Terri’s Tribute expressed gratitude or the support.
“We welcomed their invitation to help add to our coffers for scholarships,” said Treadway. “But more importantly we were happy to have yet another group share our message and support this cause”
“Thanks to a loving and generous community, we continue to raise both money and awareness,” said Anthony Treadway, one of Terri’s three brothers.
“We feel Terri would be proud and at peace, but also would say ‘I told you so’ because she always said ‘Something good will come of this,'” Treadway said, adding, “but at the time, we couldn’t imagine what good could possibly come from us losing our sister.”
For more information about Terri’s Tribute, join their Facebook page or email [email protected].