FLORENCE — The women with green hair and tiaras are serious about their work.
The group known as the Kudzu Queens has the stated mission of eliminating cancer. To that end, it holds several fundraisers and events to help spread the word about cancer and services provided locally by the American Cancer Society.
One of those events, the second annual Kudzu Queens Kickin' Cancer, is scheduled for March 23 at Regency Square Mall in Florence.
"It's all about bringing attention to this issue," said Shelia Queen, a member Kudzu Queens. "We want cancer to be gone. Done. That's why we work throughout the year to raise money and awareness."
The Kudzu Queens are a longtime Relay for Life team for the Shoals chapter of the American Cancer Society.
The Kickin' Cancer event will be noon-3 p.m. in the mall's center court and feature more than 20 booths that offer cancer services, support and volunteer opportunities.
The women will sell handmade crafts and there will be live entertainment. Money raised during the event goes to the American Cancer Society.
Other Relay for Life teams also are encouraged to have booths at the event.
Colston said the primary goal at the event is to get information about the American Cancer Society's services to the public and to those who need them.
"People need to know that services are available and they're diverse," Colston said. "It's information not just about the various cancers, but how to get (the cancer society's) help and even where to go for treatment."
Colston said the Kudzu Queens, while not typical in appearance, involve women who have either had cancer, had a loved one die from the disease or have been a caregiver for someone with cancer.
"We're unique not only in appearance but because we all know what it's like to deal with this disease," she said. "We can relate to people dealing with it now in whatever capacity.
"During the five years we've been together, we've gained fans and followers, and the attention that the flashy costumes bring give us the platform we need to help educate people."
Megan Lovelace, the public relations director for the American Cancer Society, said anyone interested in joining a Relay for Life team can do so at the March program. The Relay for Life event will be May 17 at the University of North Alabama.
There will also be a booth where survivors can register for the survivor's dinner that is held in conjunction with the Relay for Life event.
"This event is fun and it's more for the purpose of awareness than anything," Lovelace said. "Last year we had a lady come through who had just been diagnosed with cancer. We were able to help her and let her know about our services. It's serves a wonderful purpose."
Lisa Singleton-Rickman can be reached at 256-740-5735 or lisa.singleton-rickman@TimesDaily.com.