Enterprising Hospitality
Date PublishedMar 16, 2017

M3 Accounting + Analytics of Gainesville, Georgia attended the Dress to Kill Cancer fashion show fundraiser for Thumbs Up Mission. The event, held at the Chattahoochee Country Club, raised thousands of dollars for families of cancer patients.

Each year, Thumbs Up Mission raises money at events like Dress to Kill Cancer to send families directly affected by cancer on a retreat. The average cost to send just one family on a retreat is $2,500. This event raised about $65,000 which is enough to help send 30 families on the retreats which founder Mike Coker says, “Helps lay down their burdens.”

Clothes for the fashion show were provided by local merchants and vendors. Individuals undergoing cancer treatment, cancer survivors, and those with family and loved ones battling cancer graced the runway as models for the event.

There were many special guests, including the family of Deshaun Watson, the quarterback for Clemson University and a “Hometown Hero” to the Gainesville community. Watson’s mother and cancer survivor, Deann Watson, participated as a model in the fashion show.

The Thumbs Up Mission was started by the Coker family after their son Keaton passed away from cancer in 2014. In the days before Keaton passed, he would indicate he was doing “ok” with the thumbs up gesture.

M3 President Allen Read came to know the Coker family through his involvement with Flowery Branch High School Football, where Keaton played high school football. Since Keaton’s passing, Read and his family have participated in many Thumbs Up Mission events, including the sponsorship of a table at this year’s Dress to Kill Cancer event. Recently, he was invited to join the board of directors for Thumbs Up Mission and brought this foundation to the attention M3 employees, who show their support by attending events and proudly wearing their Thumbs Up t-shirts.

"M3 supports Thumbs Up Mission because of the great works they are doing for families with school-aged children where a parent or child has cancer, " said Read. "I have volunteered for one of the retreats hosted by Thumbs Up Mission and seen directly the influence they have on these families. Bringing happiness where there was none, instilling love and an understanding that there are people to help them on their journey. M3 donates to Thumbs Up Mission because we know our money is going directly to the people it is meant for."