September 11, 2003 by Lance Martin – Daily Herald (North Carolina)
ROANOKE RAPIDS – Outdoor toilets are making a comeback, at least during this year’s Relay for Life campaign.
R.J. Myrick, who owns Roanoke Valley Insurance, and Elizabeth Branham, who owns Gotta-Go Port-A-Jons, have teamed up in a unique way to raise funds for the fight against cancer.
It was a method that proved successful at Myrick’s church where, in a matter of four weeks, members raised $1,100 by putting a toilet in the yard and charging the recipient a fee to have it removed and an additional fee to have it placed in someone’s else yard.
Virginia Gupton, who spearheads the Roanoke Valley Relay for Life effort, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society, liked the idea and wanted to incorporate it for the effort.
“Everybody laughs,” Myrick said. “Once in a while you find someone ugly, but most laugh.”
For the past two weeks, Roanoke Valley residents had awakened to find a purple and pink toilet in their yards. So far, the effort has raised between $500 to $600 for Relay, Myrick said. “We would like to get $2,000.”
There are currently two standard-sized toilets circulating in the Roanoke Valley and once the finishing touches are put on it, a full-size Port-A-Jon courtesy of Branham will be available.
“I think it will be a fun, entertaining thing,” Branham said.
Davis Body Shop did the paint job on the portable toilet and Quick Signs and Designs will put lettering on it to identify it as a Relay for Life project.
The cost to have a toilet put in someone’s yard is $10. It costs $5 to have it removed and $20 as insurance that it will not come back to the same yard again.