The Central Texas Sickle Cell Anemia Association is trying something new to raise money this year. Instead of investing in an expensive fundraising gala, the association is launching a “$10,000 in 10 Days” campaign. The Rev. Gene Carter, who founded the organization more 30 years ago, explained the change.

“We’ve had big celebrations in the past,” said Carter, the association’s executive director. “We had a big celebration at the Killeen Convention Center three years ago, and that was a $20,000 affair. That is not possible in this economy.”

Carter thinks the new method of fundraising could mean less pomp and circumstance and more money for the association.

“When you do a $20,000 event like that, you may clear $5,000 to $6,000,” he said.

The fundraiser officially begins today. Carter is hoping to convince 1,000 people to donate $10 by Sept. 25.

“If we raise $10,000 that should pretty much get us through the rest of the year,” he said.

Ruby Graham is the association’s director in Killeen. Like everybody at the association, she does not receive a salary.

“We have quite a few kids in this area that have sickle cell,” she said. “We do support some of them. We try to support those who do not have the means to get a doctor.”

The association operates in eight counties in Central Texas. He said there is an immediate need for support in the Killeen-Fort Hood area.

“We had three deaths from sickle cell in Killeen and Copperas Cove in the last year,” Carter said. “One was 16 years old, one was 25 years old and one was 27 years old. A lot of our clients die young, often they are infants.”

Carter said the association will use the money to help sickle cell victims pay for care and to raise awareness.

“The money we raise goes directly to support victims and to produce digital and print information to give to churches and schools,” Carter said. “According to data from the Texas Health and Human Services Department, there are 539 cases of sickle cell within our eight counties. There can be a lack of interest due to the myth spread over the years that sickle cell only affects black people. That is simply not true.”

Donations can be mailed to Sickle Cell Anemia, P.O. Box 881, Waco, TX 76703 or made online at

Contact Mason Lerner at or (254) 501-7567

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