Ready for Relay: Relay for Life gets a jumpstart on 2014Published 6:38pm Friday, November 22, 2013
Anaya Edwards and Brianna Norman brought a unique gift to the table Thursday night: earsplitting screams. But these two girls were screaming for a cause — making some noise for a cure, and they weren’t the only ones doing it.
Make Some Noise for a Cure, the theme of Beaufort County Relay for Life 2014, officially launched this week with a gathering of teams and organizers at Beaufort County Community College. With noisemakers on hand, the event was part pep rally and part informational session, both parts led by Chairwoman Dawn Johnston and Co-chairwoman Carol West.
“This is a team effort and every single one of you is a vital part of that team,” Johnston said to the assembled crowd.
Johnston and West spoke of more: more ways to raise funds, more cancer survivors to recruit for Relay for Life’s survivors’ lap, more teams to get on board with the annual fundraiser for an organization that provides transportation, lodging, mentoring and many other types of assistance for cancer patients. And for more than 65 years, the American Cancer Society has been investing in a cure.
“The numbers of have changed this year,” Johnston told the audience. “The American Cancer Society went from helping one in three cancer survivors—now it’s two out of three cancer survivors.”
That’s due in large part to Relay for Life events like the one to be held on May 2–3, 2014, on the Washington High School track. It’s a 24-hour walkathon to raise funds and awareness, and according to Johnston and West, it’s never too early to start planning.
“We’re setting goals for the year, giving out our numbers and getting everybody jumpstarted for the year,” Johnston said.
With Beaufort County exceeding last year’s Relay for Life goal of $120,000, this year’s goal is even more lofty: $126,000. Organizers are looking for seven new teams to join in the walkathon and, along with them, 275 survivors to make the first Relay for Life lap.
“Look, there are more than 275 cancer survivors in Beaufort County,” West said. “Our goal is to get them out there for the survivors’ lap.”
So far, 35 teams are committed to participate: businesses, schools, banks, churches and individuals.
“We have such great partnerships with the schools helping us, the community college, as well as the churches,” Johnston said, adding that Beth Bennett’s Foods II class at Southside High School provided 60 cupcakes for the kickoff meeting.
In the works is the annual sale of luminaries in honor of those who have survived or succumbed to cancer, which will line the track and be lit after dark. Also in the planning stages is a Fun Day, where teams will combine their individual fundraisers in one event for the greater public.
“Power comes in numbers and the louder we are, the stronger we are,” West said. “Now, who’s ready for Relay?”
Those interested in forming a team can contact teams organizer Kathy Clark at email@example.com. For more information about Relay for Life, visit www.relayforlife.org.