Good food, worthy cause at Colton’s Cookout for a Cure

W.C. Mann

Beth Evans holds a collage of photos of her son Colton

CULLMAN – Outside Werner’s on Saturday morning, the scent of barbecue hung in the air.  There were pork sandwiches and hot dogs, baked beans, cole slaw, chips and drinks.  Sauce flowed, as did a few tears, as family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of Colton Evans and raise funds to support the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.

Colton’s mom Beth Evans explained, “This is our 12th year for Colton’s Cookout.  Colton was diagnosed in 2004 with a brain tumor, and we started relaying then, and being a part of the American Cancer Society.  He had surgery and did his radiation, and was cancer-free for five years.  His cancer came back, and he passed away in January of 2012. 

“We’ve continued to have the cookout to remember him, and also to continue to be part of the American Cancer Society, and help research.  It’s such a great cause.  My family and friends do it every year.  They’re very dedicated people that come out to help work and to donate.”

The barbecue and other meal items came from William’s Barbecue, and home economics students from Holly Pond High School made dessert.  Volunteers pulled pork, poured sauce, made sandwiches, loaded meal boxes and sold lunches for $7.  Werner’s has provided the venue since the beginning.  All of the funds raised go to Relay For Life.  From this and other events, Team Colton donates an average of around $5,000 per year.

Evans wore a shirt with the slogan “It’s just mud” emblazoned across the back.  She explained the meaning:

“There was a lady that had a 3-year-old, and she was playing in the mud while we were at spring training football.  She had it all up her back and on her shoes.  Her mother spots her and does what mothers do: ‘Get out of the mud!’  We kept hearing her getting louder and louder.  I was sitting there with Colton, because he was sick.  Colton raised up, and in his weak voice said, ‘Ma’am, it’s just mud.  It’ll wash off.’ 

“That’s just kind of been my motto.  Things aren’t what we make them to be.  Most things are just mud; we’ll get over it.  Cancer, a death in the family; nothing else is ever that big.  You remember to put things in perspective.  You learn to see what’s more important, and to cherish life. We all go through it in a rush, but we forget to see just how precious it is.”

Look for Beth Evans and Team Colton at Relay For Life at the Cullman County Fairgrounds on Friday, May 6.

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