Blood drive benefits Venecia’s Foundation
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Aug 20, 2013 | 1083 views |  0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Swank and Ladies Fit Stop were hosts to a book signing and blood drive on the square Friday honoring Venecia Benefield Butler. The goal of 30 donors was surpassed, according to the hosts and the American Red Cross.

Butler, a four time cancer survivor, has penned a book, “I’ve Got to Get Something Off My Chest.” Proceeds from the sale of books and T-shirts will go to Venecia’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization, to help those suffering from cancer in this area.

“It was really nice to see the community come together,” said Amy Reaves Daley of Swank. “The blood drive was a great time for people to come by and meet Venecia. We had a wonderful turnout.”

Some who gave blood had made appointments and didn’t have to wait. Many didn’t make appointments and had to wait up to two hours. One such donor was Davey Higginbotham, 19. Higginbotham lives in Jacksonville and is a 2012 graduate of Piedmont High School.

Higginbotham and his brother, Nicolas, 15, were in town with their mother, Audrey Fuqua. While she was shopping, her sons headed toward the library. On the way, they noticed a group of people who were signing up to donate their blood. Higginbotham told his brother it was the right thing for him to do.

“I told my brother that I wanted to do some good today,” said Higginbotham. “I told him I was going to go in there and give blood. I waited two hours, but I didn’t mind waiting.”

Fuqua said her son is usually nervous when he has to have shots, but he wasn’t nervous Friday.

“I was stunned because he hates needles,” she said. “Every time he goes to the doctor and has to have shots, he turns white as a sheet. When he told me what he did, I was proud of him.”

Butler said she has personally experienced the seemingly endless misery of cancer treatments, and her goal is to brighten the day of those in treatment by sharing her faith and love. Her foundation gives gift bags that include items such as soft blankets, comedy DVDs, chapstick, gift cards, journals, crosswords puzzles, eye drops, sugar-free gum, peppermints, soft toothbrushes, queasy drops, Lubriderm lotion, neck wraps, and hydrating socks, to chemo patients.

Butler knows from personal experience that these are the things that help a chemo patient. She has spoken to over 30 audiences, including churches, women’s conferences, youth groups and Piedmont High School’s baccalaureate. Contact her at for speaking engagements.

Butler’s books can be purchased at Salon Anon in Jacksonville, Dr. Benjamin Ingram’s office and Solid Rock Café in Piedmont, Odyssey in Centre and Colours in Oxford. They can also be purchased by sending a check for $15 to Butler at P. O. Box 572, Piedmont 37262. T-shirts are $20.

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Blood drive benefits Venecia’s Foundation by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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