‘A Rainbow of Hope’

Posted January 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Relay for Life committee planning for ’13 event

The local Clinton County Relay For Life committee held an organizational meeting last Thursday evening, January 24 at the Early Childhood Center to begin preparations for the main 2013 Relay For Life event that will be held this spring.

Relay For Life donates funds raised to the American Cancer Society (ACS) in its attempt to find a cure for the disease and fights to help keep more cancer patients as “survivors” of the dreaded disease.

2013 is somewhat unique in that the ACS is celebrating its 100th anniversary year and Relay For Life, which has become a huge annual success locally, is one of several events held each year to raise funds for research.

In its “Fighting Back” 2013 calendar journal, the following was noted about Relay For Life:

“When Dr. Gordy Klatt stepped on to the track at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, in 1985 to raise money for the American Cancer Society, he didn’t know it would spark a global movement to fight cancer. But that’s exactly what the American Cancer Society Relay For Life has become. Today, more than four million people come together to celebrate, remember, and fight back at Relay events in more than 6,000 communities in 20 countries. Teams of people camp out at their local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Events continue overnight and can last up to 24 hours. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event, because cancer never sleeps. To learn more about how you can fight back as a Relay participant or supporter, visit RelayForLife.org.”

At last week’s planning meeting, Heather Rogers, an ACS representative, met with some committee members and co-chairs of this year’s Relay, Samantha Bowlin and Crystal Pillar, to discuss several events, not only for the night of the event, but a host of fundraising ideas leading up to the main event itself–when the majority of local funds are raised.

Several goals were also set and some new possible events were discussed as well.

This year, the Clinton County Relay For Life will return to Clinton County High School on Friday/Saturday, April 26-27, beginning at 7 p.m. and ending at 7 a.m. with a breakfast. There will be a night filled with constant activities in between, including opening ceremonies, guest speakers, lighting of luminarias, and the ceremonial first walk around the track by local cancer survivors.

Rogers told those on hand last week that Clinton County was again among the top per capita fund in fundraising for a county this size.

Each year, “teams” of people somewhat compete to see which can raise the most money by holding various fundraising activities prior to the main Relay For Life event.

As of last week, there were nine teams committed, with the goal being to have 12 teams participate. There are also two new sponsors this year, People’s Bank of Albany and Monticello Banking Company.

Also something new this year is a “sponsorship challenge” with the goal to get more businesses involved. Any team who secures ‘new’ sponsorship of $500 or less, can count that as team money.

There are also sponsorship opportunities for businesses, including $500 for a luminaria or survivor sponsor; $250 for committee sponsor and $175 for a lane sponsor.

The fundraising goal for the Clinton County 2013 Relay For Life is $70,000; it hopes to have at least 40 cancer survivors participate; 200 luminarias (can be purchased in memory for $5 each); 12 participating teams and $5,500 in sponsorship.

This year’s 2013 theme is: Cancer Colors-A Rainbow Of Hope.

Anyone interested in forming and/or joining a Relay For Life team or for more general information about the event and ways to help, you can contact either co-chairperson, Samantha Bowlin or Crystal Pillar at 387-9317. Or, interested persons can attend Relay committee meetings, which are held the fourth Thursday of each month at 5 p.m. at the Early Childhood Center.

For more information about Relay For Life or the American Cancer Society, you may also log on to RelayForLife.org; cancer.org or call toll-free 1-800-277-2345.