Providence hosts 8th Carter Martin Classic

Carter Martin isn't forgotten at Providence.

For the eighth year the school honors the second grader who lost his battle with a rare form of childhood bone cancer in 2004 with its Carter Martin Classic fundraiser.

The annual event raises money for the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorder Services at Children's Heathcare of Atlanta. It coincides with the Stars home basketball opener, this year, against Hapeville Charter School. The junior varsity games begin at 4 p.m. with the varsity girls tipping off at 6 p.m. and the boys around 7:30. The Carter Martin ceremony will take place between the varsity girls and boys games.

Last year the event raised $62,000 and in the first seven years it raised $626,308. All proceeds go the Carter Samuel Martin Experimental Therapy Research Fund, a specific fund within Aflac to help children with rare cancers like Carter. His parents Scott and Leigh Anne and brother Candler set up the fund, which supports treatments and research for cancers specifically like Carter's.

Throughout the week at Providence there are fundraisers and change collection in classrooms and around the campus. The event reaches out to local sponsors and all ticket sales as concessions Friday night benefit the fund. There will also be a silent auction during the game. Items up for bid include a Primo brand grill valued at $2,000 as well as PGA Golf Superstore gift cards, music lessons and sporting goods equipment.

Tom Skinner, the chair of the event, said they worry less about setting monetary goals, but rather educating people that every penny counts.

"Every single penny raised goes to the Carter Martin Classic (fund)," Skinner said.

Carter Martin was in kindergarten at Providence when he was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone cancer. He fought the cancer for nearly two years before losing the battle in September 2004 after 20 months of treatment, including a leg amputation. The first Carter Martin Classic was held the same year.

For more information on the event or to support the Carter Samuel Martin Experimental Therapy Research Fund, visit www.cartermartinclassic.org.