The team known today as Carp's Cancer Crusher's has evolved out of a team begun in 1995 by Jeff’s parents, Ron and Gloria Carpenter. The team back then was known as Marge's Marchers, named after Gloria’s sister Marge McGorman who lost her life to ovarian cancer at the young age of 42. This grass-roots team was 10 members strong and growing.
Three years later in 1998 Jeff and his family -- Lee Ann, Kayle and Alan -- were invited to join the team. They knew the cause was a great one and the decision for them to join the team was an easy one. Little did they know at the time that Jeff had a cancerous tumor growing on his heart and aorta. It was later that same year that Jeff was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL) and found himself fighting for his life. His goal that year was simply to get well enough to walk the Survivor’s Lap in the 1999 Relay for Life. Unfortunately, the recovery time took a lot longer than hoped and Jeff was in the hospital during the Relay. The team’s strength only continued to grow greater than ever during this time and they had a major presence in the form of luminaries on the track that year.In 2000, following his courageous battle, Jeff had recovered enough to be honored with a phone call by Keith Warner (event CEO) asking him to be the guest speaker in that year’s event.
In 2001 and 2002, the Marge's Marchers team continued to grow and was on top as fund raising leaders. It was in 2003 that the event organizers asked the team to break up into two smaller teams with the goal of having a broader reach and the ability for greater fund-raising. It was at this time when Jeff & LeeAnn started the CCC team, or Carp’s Cancer Crushers (Jeff's nickname is Carp), as we know it today.
Marge's Marchers was in existence for ten years and as the members started aging, they found it more and more difficult to participate at the level that was required. Little by little the team size decreased until only eight members remained. It was decided that those remaining members join in with the CCC team which is where they are today. “It’s nice being back as a whole team again,” remarked Jeff. “It just didn’t feel right with the two teams. We had our sites next to each other on the track, but it just didn’t feel the same.” It has been a good match once again with team members contributing to the success with multiple fund raisers every year.
In 2013, after 15 years of supporting the American Cancer Society, we chose a new direction for Carp's Cancer Crushers. Upon hours of researching worthy charities we have made the careful decision to dedicate our fund raising proceeds to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. This Fund is a standout as it operates on less than 10% of the monies received meaning over 90 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to the battle against cancer. We strongly feel that this efficient model exemplifies the giving spirit of all of our Carp's Cancer Crushers supporters and we will proudly dedicate ourselves to supporting the Fund.
There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up..
--- John Holmes