Others involved in the annual event “Relay” because they, too, are survivors, or are caregivers of those battling cancers. And some just “Relay” because they want to combat cancer before it has a chance to impact anyone else.
But no matter the reason, what’s important is that everyone involved in Relay For Life is joined together in the fight against cancer and is committed to funding cancer research through the American Cancer Society, Bayless said.
The annual Relay For Life is the main fundraiser for the American Cancer Society (ACS.)
Last year’s Richmond County Relay for Life raised $122,599 for the ACS. A goal has yet to be set for this year.
Last year’s event saw about 50 teams camped out around the Richmond Raider track, and the planning committee is hoping for at least that many this year.
This year’s event is scheduled for May 14. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Anyone who is already signed up to be a team captain, or those willing to sign up or just interested in learning what being a team captain takes, is invited to attend the monthly team captain meetings, the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Richmond Memorial Hospital Auditorium.
The planning committee, which has about 12 members, also meets monthly.
“It runs smoothly,” Bayless said about the planning process. “The committee is made up of survivors, caregivers and people who just want to get rid of cancer.”
Bayless and her husband, Bill, who is co-chair of the event, have been involved in Relay For Life in Richmond County since 2001.
“It’s real personal and we need to get rid of (cancer),” she said. “Without cancer research that goes on with the money raised from Relay, people wouldn’t be cured and helped.”
Last year, the planning committee decided it would be a good idea to charge a $5 donation for people entering the track during the event. That $5, though, gave the individual five “Relay bucks” to spend at any of the team tents on the field.
Many teams will sell baked good or craft items, etc., to raise extra money for the ACS the day of the event. Those attending the event can use their “Relay bucks” to purchase those goods and at the end of the event, the teams cash in their Relay bucks and that money goes toward their overall fundraising total.
To have a team there is no minimum number of teammates required. And there’s also no minimum amount of money a team must raise. Each team sets it’s own private goal of how much it wants to raise to contribute to the overall event.
Bayless said one of the most important parts of participating in the event is having everyone walking the track. She said they have a survivors lap, and a caregivers lap, and they encourage everyone to walk laps during the eight-hour event.
The committee is presently seeking corporate sponsors, team captains and live entertainment for the day of the event. For more information, call Bayless at 582-8613 and leave a message if there’s no answer.
Staff writer Eren Tataragasi can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 19 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.