Candler Clays Hits New Fundraising Record: More Than $275K For Cancer Programs And Research

Mar 21, 2024

The charity shoot and auction raised $275,299, a new record that will benefit the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion at St. Joseph’s/Candler

The Candler Clays Charity Shoot and Auction is in its 22nd year and its growth and impact shows no signs of slowing down.  The enduring popularity of this event is good news for cancer patients and their families across the region, as all funds go to St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations’ Advancements in Cancer Care initiatives in Savannah, Bluffton, Hilton Head and surrounding regions.

Not only did the event raise $275,299 this year, but $124,900 of that was specifically raised for oncology nurse navigation at the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion at St. Joseph’s/Candler. Navigators help provide patients and their families with guidance, education, resources and advocacy during a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Candler Clays is an annual two-day event combining a charity auction of items donated by local merchants and a clay shooting competition at the Forest City Gun Club. Since its inception two decades ago, the Clays event has raised $2.44 million for the Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion.

"I am amazed at how this community rose up to support our cancer care initiatives this year, shattering last year’s record,” said Vernice Rackett, Executive Director of the St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations. “We are so grateful for our loyal sporting clays enthusiasts and our sponsors who were singularly driven to make this event a success. Their hard work will help many cancer patients.”

PHOTO ID (L-R): Dennis Reed, Raymond Singletary, Gretchen Pearce Chamberlain, Linsey Blocker, Youlia Bolgan, Foundations Executive Director Vernice Rackett, Paige Rowlett, Co-Chair Emily Cameron, Lauren Novack, Co-Chair Lori Pitt, Ellie McKenzie, Ashley DuBois, Jenny Price, Henry Minis. 

This year’s Candler Clays had many generous sponsors including the returning presenting sponsor JE Dunn Construction, the Mingledorff Family as platinum sponsor and Batson Associates as gold sponsor. The event was co-chaired by Emily Cameron and Lori Pitt.

Each year the event honors a survivor or memorializes someone who died of cancer. This year’s honoree was Peggy Minis Trethewey, who was diagnosed in 2019 with stage-four, non-small cell lung cancer.

“When we moved to Savannah to be close to family a year ago, I started going to the LCRP and I cannot tell you how impressed I was that a community this size has that facility. From the time I walked in here, it was airy, sunny, happy, everybody was nice, the staff were fantastic,” Trethewey said. “I feel like I am a walking miracle and it is thanks to the people who love me and supported me and treated me. I did not do this by myself. It is a huge team effort. And that team includes everyone who helped raise money during Candler Clays. Thank you!”

Clay Shoot Winners:

Top Male: William Drought – 50
Top Female:
Cheyenne Anderson – 45
Top Male Youth:
Jackson Ferland – 49
Top Female Youth:
Ericka Ann McKeever – 45

1st place team: Forest City Juniors (one of three youth teams sponsored by Critz Auto Group)  represented by Jackson Ferland, Ericka Ann McKeever, Aiden Strickland and Georgia Kennedy
2nd place: Hutson Plumbing, represented by Mac Salter, Chris Lutz, Slayton Lutz, and Dana Williams
Lewis B:
Coleman Company
Lewis C:
Brennan & Wasden, LLC

St. Joseph’s/Candler would like to thank and recognize the 2024 Candler Clays Committee:

Emily Cameron, Committee Co-Chair
Lori Pitt, Committee Co-Chair
Matt Albert
Linsey Blocker
Ashley DuBois
Meghan Jue
Peggy Lucius
Ellie McKenzie
Lauren Novack
Jenny Price
Dennis Reed
Hal Richards
Raymond Singletary

About the St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations

The St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations support vital clinical programs, assist in the purchase of cutting-edge medical technology and enhance outreach programs designed to keep people in our community healthy. This important educational component helps our community be more proactive about their health and disease management.

Our current initiative, Advancing Excellence: Touching Lives, includes projects to enhance the patient experience by supporting the following areas of St. Joseph’s/Candler:

  • Advancements at St. Joseph’s Hospital, including emergency department expansion and The Heart Hospital.
  • Advancements in Cancer Care at the Nancy N. and J. C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion.
  • Enhancements at the Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital.
  • Wellness Education and Community Outreach.


To learn more or to make a donation, visit



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