She died 22 years ago, but she still is a child advocate

Bill and Lisa Goree knew they had to honor the life of their daughter Sara Elizabeth. That's where these butts come in.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 8:39 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - More than two decades after their teen daughter died and 14 years since they began an annual tradition to honor her, Bill and Lisa Goree are reflecting.

“I think Sara would be very, very proud,” Bill said as he and his friends cooked Boston butts on Thursday.

Each November, they gather to raise money in Sara’s name to help children.

What’s sad is Bill and Lisa Goree couldn’t help their daughter, who they lost in 2001.

“(Sara) left the house one evening to go to a dance,” Goree tearfully recalls.

On the way with friends, there was a wreck that killed the Dothan High School junior.

Knowing they must keep their daughter’s memory alive, the Gorees began an annual fundraiser for the Child Advocacy Center, a non-profit dedicated to helping children through tough times.

The first year, they sold 300 butts---pretty good, Bill and Lisa thought.

Little did they know how popular the annual event would become.

On Thursday, they sold 1100 butts in only a few hours during what would be their final fundraiser.

“It’s going to be some tears and a lot of joy,” Bill said as they prepared to shut down one last time.

Smokers are getting older, as are Bill and Lisa, and the time has come to call it quits, though they are mulling other ways to honor their daughter.

The Gorees are thankful to dozens of volunteers--some of Sara’s friends-- who assisted them.  They also appreciate those who furnished equipment for the butt sale, including the Dothan Police Department.

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