CARL JUNCTION, Mo. —
Carl Junction Postmaster Sharon Clark could not contain her emotion Friday morning when she checked her email to determine the outcome of the month-long annual breast cancer stamp sales contest.
“We won. Carl Junction took first place,” she said, choking back tears and with some amount of disbelief.
"I’m just blown away.”
This October marks Carl Junction’s fifth time competing. Last October, Carl Junction was very, very close.
“Each year we have a goal,” Clark said. “The first two years it was $10,000, then it was $20,000, then last year it was $25,000. We were $400 shy of making that goal. This year, it’s $25,000 again.”
The entire community and outsiders rallied to the point of not just meeting that goal, but far surpassing it. Total stamp sales: $47,747.15
At last night’s Carl Junction High School football game, Arvest Bank surprised Clark by presenting a $3,476 check toward the effort — that’s the cost of 6,320 stamps. It was the largest single purchase during this year’s contest.
Clark credited the entire community for achieving the national No. 1 ranking.
“We beat the second place finisher by $13,000,” she said. That finisher was Larkin Smith Facility in Gulfport, Miss., which serves 70,000 people, with total sales of $34,199. Carl Junction’s population is 7,511.
The stamp, which now costs 55 cents, first was issued on July 29, 1998, in a ceremony held in the White House. It was the first semipostal in U.S. history.
As of October 2012, the stamp has raised more than $76.3 million for breast cancer research. By law, 70 percent of the net amount raised is given to the National Institutes of Health and 30 percent is given to the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.