The Duncan Banner

Local News

February 18, 2013

Photographer’s story inspires community

Video shared about terminal cancer spurs Collier to host fundraiser for Abigail Smith

DUNCAN — Many Duncan people rallied together for a special fundraiser for a local woman battling cancer and through their efforts they raised $14,500 Saturday.

The Family Life Center of Duncan’s First Baptist Church was nearly overflowing with donations to the fundraiser planned for local photographer Abigail Smith.

Put on by the efforts of Morgan Collier, a member of the church, the goal was to raise $10,000 to assist Smith pay for medical bills and expenses associated with her diagnosis of terminal cancer.

“In my head, I wanted $10,000,” she said. “I thought that it was a big goal but that is what I had in my head. I really hope that we make that,” she shared Saturday before the day was over.

Abigail Smith’s story went viral online throughout Stephens County in January, with a video in which she told her story. Smith’s story really began a year ago when she was first diagnosed with cancer. She blogged about her experiences, her faith and the support she received. After surgery and treatments, many people thought she was cancer free. But in December 2012, Smith posted on her Facebook pages that it had returned. Videos of her story traveled Facebook and reached out to Morgan Collier, who had never even met Abigail Smith before the fundraiser.

“I just saw her video they made on Facebook,” she said.

“I had a lot of mutual friends that posted it. I just thought ‘Oh, I’ll watch it.’ I watched it and she just blew me away with her story and her faith. I wanted to try to help her.”

Kaylee Price and Bobbie Foster both attended Saturday’s sale shopping to support a woman they had never met.

Price said she too had seen Smith’s video on Facebook but had never met her.

“A lot of my friends had pictures done by her,” Price said. “I might even have her on my Facebook.”

When Price saw Smith’s story on Facebook, she was moved and came out, like many others, to support this woman, an iconic figure, in the Duncan community.

The fundraising event included a bake sale, a garage sale and a silent auction. The bake sale and the garage sale ran from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday while the silent auction ended at 3 p.m.

“It’s been great,” Collier said Saturday.

“We had a great turnout of stuff. The community is awesome. It is kind of hard to tell by the amount of stuff that is left but we have sold a lot of stuff.”

Collier began picking up items throughout the week, and on Friday afternoon, opened the doors at the church, which is one of the largest, oldest churches in the community. The line of cars and people bringing in items was steady and long. Collier appeared amazed by the turnout.

In addition to the silent auction items were professional photography sessions that had been donated by Smith’s fellow photographers and friends. Collier said many of the area’s photographers had come together to support Smith during this difficult time and donated photo sessions to raise money for her.

“Duncan is awesome,” she said. “We are a not a tiny city but people just care for each other. Everyone loves Abigail and her family. Everybody just adores them. This is all because of them.”

Collier said she had done garage sales and other fundraising events before but nothing of this magnitude. In addition to everybody who came out and donated or shopped, Collier also expressed gratitude to Cherry Berry, who brought their new mobile shop to the event and donated profits to the cause.

“Thanks to everybody that made this happen,” Collier said. “God is good. CherryBerry is awesome. One hundred percent of what he’s doing is going to Abigail.”

Duncan and Lawton Cherry Berry Store Owner Jack Barnes said the Smith family became a family to him since he has been away from his own.

“I have just gotten to know them and they have been like an adopted family to me,” Barnes said. “I really wanted to debut our mobile unit and I wanted to do it here first. We are donating 100 percent of whatever comes in. We just wanted to be a blessing to them.”

Barnes said this is the first time the mobile unit has been used and the store will be using it for fundraising events, catering and outdoor events.

For the items that were leftover from the sale, Collier said they would be donated to other places such as the Toy Shop, the High School or other organizations that would use the items for charitable purposes.

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-24 Velma Team Roping Kids.jpg Velma teens win roping competition

    Two Velma teenagers have claimed victory again this year in a statewide roping competition.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-24 DonRidley.jpg Marlow residents reflect on council member Ridley

    A void remains on the Marlow City Council following the death of Councilman Don Ridley.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Velma storm siren problem fixed

    A glitch with the storm sirens in Velma has been fixed, but just to be sure a weekly test run of the tornado warning system will sound off at noon Friday, Mayor Shawn Enloe said.

    April 24, 2014

  • Marlow Chamber sets banquet for Monday

    The Marlow Chamber of Commerce will focus on the town’s local businesses when it host its annual banquet Monday at First Baptist Church in Marlow.

    April 24, 2014

  • Council votes for cheaper, quicker water fix

    The Duncan City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to go with a $650,000 fix to its water infrastructure needs.
    The council approved a $43,000 contract with Crafton, Tull, Sparks and Associates to build a 1,000-foot long pipeline that will be capable of putting about 3 million gallons of water per day into Lake Humphreys.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23 DHS Band 0042.jpg DHS band wins fifth straight Sweepstakes

    The Duncan High School band received a rare distinction, winning Sweepstakes for the fifth consecutive year.
    Senior Cody Plumley is excited the band won Sweepstakes for its fifth year in a row, making the DHS Band one of the few school bands to do so.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do the crime, you’ll face a bigger fine

    It just got considerably more expensive to be cruel to animals, ride a bike at night without a light, drive over a fire hose and noodle in a city lake.
    The Duncan City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to increase the amount of municipal fines and bonds associated with dozens of misdemeanor offenses.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sheriffs: State backing out on prisoner promises

    State efforts to save time and money by shuffling prisoners more swiftly through the system are riling local sheriffs who are losing money because of the efficiency program.
    A change in Department of Corrections practice is landing a “significant hit” on two-thirds of Oklahoma counties, which depend on reimbursements to house state inmates locally, said Ken McNair, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association.

    April 23, 2014

  • McKinney: DOC move will benefit Stephens County jail

    Oklahoma Department of Corrections efforts to move county inmates to DOC prisons has helped the Stephens County Jail dip below capacity.
    But Sheriff Wayne McKinney wonders why it took so long to happen when the county jail was overcrowded for several years.

    April 23, 2014

  • Officer urges volunteers to sign up for mentoring program

    A new in-school mentoring program trying to recruit volunteers got a boost on Tuesday night when Duncan Police Officer Julio Alvarez stepped onto a stage to tell a crowd of 50 spectators that a mentor helped him overcome the trauma of childhood victimization.
    “Go out and spread the word,” Alvarez said, urging people to sign up as mentors through a program that is being developed by The Well Outreach, Inc.

    April 23, 2014


Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results
AP Video