Published 12:04 pm Tuesday, March 31, 2009

By Staff
Beaufort County’s 2009 Relay for Life provides an opportunity for the county’s residents, and others for that matter, to strike back at a disease that has stricken many of their loved ones.
The 14th-annual Relay for Life, set for May 1-2 at Washington High School, also provides a chance for cancer survivors and their families to celebrate their victories over cancer.
Months ago, Relay for Life teams across the county began conducting fundraising activities to raise money for the fight against cancer. Other fundraisers are scheduled between now and the event.
As welcome as the money raised to battle cancer is, the dedication of those teams to raise the money needed for cancer research is just as welcome. That dedication should be rewarded by the community, which should buy those brownies at bake sales, have their vehicles washed at the car washes or just make a donation to the cause with an added “Thanks for what you are doing” to go along with the donation.
There are few things as heart-warming and inspiring as watching cancer survivors make that traditional first lap at Relay for Life events. Some are making that walk for the first time; others have been taking that lap for five, 10 or more years.
They are living proof that the fight against cancer can be won.
Last year, about 35 teams raised a little more than $160,000, with the top three teams raising a little more than $40,000 combined. That’s impressive. Those teams don’t raise the money to be the top fundraiser. They raise the money to help eradicate a deadly disease. That’s their motivation.
Since its inception, the Beaufort County Relay for Life has raised a little more than $1 million.
Relay for Life has raised more than money. It’s raised hopes that cancer, someday, can and will be defeated.
Although fundraising is important to the Relay for Life cause, it isn’t the cornerstone of the Relay for Life mission, said Reuel Johnson, a national vice president for Relay for Life.
Relay for Life is a commitment, celebration and creation of awareness communities across the nation should embrace.