Relay for Life organizers hope to raise $100,000 this year

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 6, 2001

Because cancer never sleeps, they won’t either – at least for one night.

That’s the motto of organizers and participants of the 2001 Relay for Life, an all-night event scheduled for May 4 to raise awareness and money for cancer research.

Relay For Life began in 1985 when Dr. Gordon Klatt, a Tacoma, Wash., surgeon and American Cancer Society&160;volunteer, ran and walked on a local track for 24 hours traveling 81 miles.&160; The nationwide event now raises more than $2 million each year to fight cancer.

The Adams County event, now in its sixth year, raised almost $90,000 for cancer research last year, and organizers are hoping to break $100,000 this year.

&uot;We keep growing as far as number of teams and sponsors and money raised,&uot; said relay co-chairman Janis Holder. &uot;This community has just really responded.&uot;

Holder first became involved with the relay several years ago through her job at Silas Simmons, which each year sponsors &uot;Bank Night,&uot; where the total money raised is counted.

She said the relay is not only an opportunity to raise money for cancer research, but to lend support to the friends and family members of cancer victims.

Plus, &uot;it just shows how much fun you can have for a very good cause.&uot;

Cyndie Dillon, relay committee co-chairman, said this year’s relay will again be held at the Vidalia Landing on the riverfront.

The night will begin at 6 p.m. with a Survivor’s Reception. All survivors, whether battling cancer now or had the disease in the past, will receive be presented with a T-shirt and a medallion.

Survivors will then kick off the relay by circling the track in a &uot;victory lap,&uot; followed by the various teams carrying their banners.

Between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. teams will circle the relay track, with the only requirement being that one member of each team be on the track at all times, Dillon said.

Anyone can form a team, whether a civic group, a church, a school, a club, a business or just a group of friends and family, she said.

Each team should have between eight and 15 members, and organizers are asking each member raise at least $100, with a team goal of at least $1,000.

Also, anyone can purchase a luminary for $10 in memory of someone who has died from cancer or in honor of someone battling cancer.

The luminaries bearing the name of the person honored will then be used to line the track the night of the relay.