A former Forest City native was featured on a billboard in Times Square in New York City last Wednesday, August 19 promoting an upcoming fundraising challenge to fight children's cancer.
Vicki Tarlton Held's photograph and a separate photo of her four healthy grandchildren (with Vicki's daughters and sons-in-law) was on the billboard to promote the Great Cycle Challenge.
Beginning September 1, Vicki and others across the nation will join the Great Cycle Challenge to fight kids' cancer. Vicki will cycle 300 miles during September in Transylvania and Henderson counties.
"That's my goal," Vicki said. She plans to ride 75 miles a week.
Her billboard photo advertises the ride as money is being raised across the United States benefiting the Children's Cancer Research Fund.
So far $4 million has been raised nationwide.
Last week Vicki already had 24 sponsors for her 300 miles of riding. Everyone is invited to become a sponsor as the challenge begins September 1. Even during the challenge donations can be made in Vicki's name.
Vicki said she is a participant in the Great Cycle Challenge, "because cancer is the biggest killer of children from disease in the United States- 38 kids die every week."
More than 17,500 children are diagnosed every year with cancer.
"I am also so thankful for my four healthy grandchildren: Settle, Wally, Sam and Anna," Vicki said.
"I will be riding for all sick children and many of my friend's healthy grandchildren," Vicki said.
"Kids should be living life, not fighting for it."
To support the challenge to end childhood cancer anyone can make a donation through Vicki's fundraising page: Visit GREATCYCLECHALLENGE.COM and enter Vicki Held's name in the participant line to become a sponsoring donor or visit her Facebook page.
She thanks those who have already made donations and invites others to become sponsors.
Vicki is the daughter of the late Vernon and Lovada Tarlton of Forest City. She is the sister of Dennis Tarlton, former mayor of the Town of Forest City. She grew up in Forest City and graduated from East Rutherford High School in 1970.
She and her husband John live in Brevard and are avid outdoors people.