Smokey pulled pork doused in barbecue sauce. Crispy fried chicken. Buttery hush puppies.
Those were scents wafting from the parking lot of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston’s real estate offices in Chapel Hill on Friday.
Employees and agents of the company assembled and sold barbecue plates for their 6th annual Pig Out For The Cure fundraiser in support of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Oct. 12 from noon to 2 p.m.
Pig Out For The Cure is a fundraising effort led by the agents and employees of the Chapel Hill and Pittsboro offices of Coldwell Banker in conjunction with the HPW Foundation, a nonprofit committed to matching the funds of employee outreach efforts.
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the only public comprehensive cancer center in the state of North Carolina. The Center is supported by the University community, especially among the women's basketball team — head coach Sylvia Hatchell, who was treated for acute myeloid leukemia at the center, sends the proceeds from her personal blueberry patch to UNC Lineberger every year.
The proceeds from Pig Out For The Cure will go directly to the Mary Anne Long Patient and Family Resource Center, a support program that covers needs beyond the scope of insurance.
“It actually is going to where the rubber meets the road, and that is to the families that are battling cancer that can’t afford in many instances to pay for the simple things: a meal, gas, room and board,” said Randy Cox, a 1984 UNC graduate, vice president and managing broker of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston’s Chapel Hill and Pittsboro offices.
Cox estimated Pig Out For The Cure has raised upwards of $85,000 over the six years of the event.
“When you see the responses from the people that we help at the UNC Lineberger Family Resource Center, and you get the notes back from them, and some of the things that they are able to provide as a result of the money that we raise, that has to make you feel good,” said Pat Serkedakis, a broker who's worked at Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston for 10 years.
Local businesses and Chapel Hill community members could show their support by purchasing bronze, silver, or gold sponsorships, donating on the Pig Out For The Cure website, or buying a barbecue plate for $10. People could also pre-order barbecue plates online. The agents and employees delivered orders of 10 plates or more free of charge. Before noon, they had delivered over 200 plates.
For Chris Knapp, a bronze-level sponsor and real estate agent for the Welcome Home 919 Realty Group, her personal experience with UNC Lineberger motivated her to support Pig Out For The Cure.
“I’m a five-year breast cancer survivor. I hit my mark in July,” Knapp said. “And so that’s why I wanted to make sure that I did my contribution because those are the people who took care of me five years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.”
Between noon and 2 p.m., a stream of Chapel Hill community members enjoyed plates stuffed full of barbecue, fried chicken, green beans, coleslaw and hush puppies from Gillis’s Catering in Rougemont, N.C. Plates with vegetarian lasagna were also offered.
Noah Asbill, a Chapel Hill native and loan officer at Homeside Financial, made time for a lunch break at Pig Out For The Cure after hearing about the event from one of the agents at Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston.
“Being at the Lineberger Center benefits so many people and they do such good work in the community and for those in our area," Asbill said. "We just felt really drawn to support them and do everything we can."
While some people opted for a quick pick-up without leaving their cars, others chose to enjoy their food inside the decorated office building, complete with pink tablecloths and miniature pig figurines. Agents traded business attire for festive Pig Out For The Cure t-shirts and aprons with “Ticked Pickled” in curvy handwriting. Before serving up a hot plate of Southern classics, the agents greeted most of the attendees by name and took the time to chat with them. The agents sold 436 plates in total.
“It’s about the camaraderie," Cox said. "It’s about the community support that we provide and just doing it together."
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