Fundraisers for life
Published 7:56 pm Saturday, March 22, 2014
In an effort to raise much needed money for the Beaufort County Relay for Life, twelve teams met on the lawn of Lifequest, Saturday, in a yard sale-like gathering, selling various items, including arts and crafts, food and luminaries.
Dawn Johnston, event chair, along with her team of chairman, say that raising the funds has been a joint community effort, bringing individuals from all walks of life together for one important cause.
“We are here today to develop awareness and raise funds for Relay for Life,” said Johnston.
The luminaries, being sold to benefit the program, are lighted bags and torches used for individuals to dedicate to the memory of a cancer survivor or lost loved one. Johnston said the luminary ceremony will be held at 9 p.m. on May 2, following the survivor lap at 6 p.m.
Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society’s signature event, offers everyone in the community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. The event brings the community together to have fun while raising funds to fight cancer and raise awareness of cancer prevention and treatment.
Johnston said that the chapter has 31 teams enrolled to walk in the event.
“We have had a lot of community involvement,” Johnston said. “There are many returning teams. We have those teams recruiting other teams, churches hearing about us, survivors recruiting other folks…we have been very blessed. Our community has just helped us so much.”
A local team, the Bosom Buddies, consisting of survivors of breast cancer, have been long-time volunteers of the same program that helped save their lives. Joyce Jones and her fellow buddies have been fundraising for over 20 years.
“I have been a survivor for 21 years,” said Jones. “It (the program) is something that just means so much to us. It keeps us together, helping other people and keeps us going.”
Johnston said that there are several other fundraising efforts being conducted throughout the county, including a benefit concert that will be performed by a local band, K-OS, on March 28 at Southside High School.
“We really appreciate all the folks of Beaufort County who make this event possible,” Johnston said.
The chapter has set goals to meet for this year’s event, scheduled for May 2-3 at the Washington High School track.
“Last year we had 254 survivors to walk in the relay, raising a total of $123,000,” Johnston said. “This year we want to top that number. We really would love to hit 300 (people). Right now we are at about 140 people.”
Johnston said that the number of participants is projected to rise through upcoming events such as the Survivor Sundae, an ice cream social designed to bring members of the community to sign up for the event. The social will be held at First Church of Christ on Sat., April 5 from 3-5 p.m. To RSVP, call 252-695-9054. Johnston said that a response is necessary for everyone planning to attend in order to have enough for each person.
To contribute to Beaufort County’s Relay for Life, call Dawn Johnston at 252-943-5061 or Carol West, event co-chair, or visit relayforlife.org/beaufortnc.