WAGRAM — The smell of grilled chicken, hot dogs and BBQ filled the air for the many in attendance at the Boneyard Bar-B-Q Grill’s one-year anniversary celebration.
The free food was a plus for the over 300 guests, but Saturday’s focus was the community of Wagram working together to raise cancer awareness. Rather than charge for food and drink, the McMillan’s asked those in attendance to donate whatever they were able to the American Cancer Society. The restaurant was able to raise approximately $1,000 in donations.
George McMillan and his wife Joyce, the owners of the Boneyard Bar-B-Q Grill, decided not to only celebrate the first year of business, they also wanted to pay tribute to Joyce’s parents, who both passed away of cancer almost a year and a half ago.
But it wasn’t just for Joyce’s parents the couple emphasized, it was for everyone else who has passed from or battled cancer.
“A lot of people here are cancer survivors or have had family members affected by cancer,” Joyce said.
It is estimated that 841,390 men and 843,820 women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society. The most common forms of cancer are prostate cancer in men, affecting approximately 181,000 in 2016 and breast cancer among women, affecting nearly 270,000 this year.
Last year alone, the American Cancer Society brought in $809,894 from donations, which accounted for the vast majority of the organizations revenue. Events such as the one this weekend are a key component in the battle against cancer.
Rep. Garland Pierce of Wagram made it out to the event and was excited to have such a big event in the town he represents. “Any education we can do to help raise awareness of cancer is a good thing,” Pierce said.
“It’s all about Wagram, the community and it’s all about working together,” George said.
George, grew up across the Lumber River from Wagram in Hoke County and many of his family members are involved with the restaurant.
The event not only brought in local residents, but visitors from all over the United States.
“We have friends coming from Florida, Virginia, Georgia and we have great friends coming from Seattle Washington,” Joyce said.
The friends she spoke of from Seattle, Berry and Sharon Smith, flew all the way to North Carolina and back to Washington the following day just to support the McMillan’s.
Berry was George’s partner in Detroit for the DEA.
“I had to come out and check out what George is doing,” he said.
George’s sister, Dorothy McMillan, said she “believes in the American Cancer Society because there are so many people with cancer and we need to find a cure.”
“If the price on the food is right, you will always have a good turn out, the main purpose of today is to fight cancer,” George.
Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-506-3171