Relay plans underway

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 6, 2005

Cancer is a disease that affects almost every person, in every community, in some way. But for those presently diagnosed or those who may be diagnosed in the future, hope is brighter than ever before.

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to the elimination of cancer as a major health problem by prevention, saving lives and diminishing suffering through research, education, advocacy and service. ACS is the largest source of private, nonprofit cancer research funds in the United States, second only to the federal government in dollars spent.

Last year, more than $120 million was invested in research. Since 1946 that figure totals more than $2 billion.

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The American Cancer Society also provides support services to those living with cancer through programs such as Reach to Recovery, I Can Cope, Look Good…Feel Better and Man to Man. And it has set goals to be met by 2015: Reduce cancer deaths by 50 percent; reduce cancer incidence by 25 percent and improve the quality of life of the cancer patient.

Locally, these goals are worked toward through the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Dallas County. The date has been set and plans are in the making by the Leadership Committee for the April 8th event, which is chaired by Karl Jones, Selma Funeral Home director, and Sherri James, City of Selma, who also chairs Reach to Recovery.

Zaneta Lowe, Vaughan Regional Hospital, and Tanya Miles are charged with team recruitment – last year there were 43 teams in Relay for Life. Coach Woodrow Lowe is activities chair, and Jo Ann Bowline is sponsor chair.

Victor Morrow, Wal-Mart general manager, is on the executive committee and working with team recruitment.

(The Wal-Mart team was the overall winner in the 2004 event).

Supervising is Brenda Tuck, community representative for the American Cancer Society Mid-South Division.

Kick-off date for the 2005 campaign is Jan. 27. A Team Captains’ Social will be held in February and the committee’s last meeting date is in March. The night before the Relay, April 7th, is Bank Night when donated funds are turned in.

For the first time Relay for Life will occupy an entire week, April 3-8 with extensive public reminders from radio, television and newspapers. These will include personal stories of local Cancer Survivors.

Relay for Life 2005 sponsors are being offered special benefits to help celebrate cancer survivors. Sponsors not only are helping find a cure for cancer, they are also enabling people to see and know their company as an organization committed to the well being of customers and employees. After all, the American Cancer Society is one of the most recognized names in the country, boasting 99 percent name recognition.

The categories of sponsorship are: Platinum, $2,500; Gold, $1,000; Silver, $750; Bronze, $500; Patron, $300.All sponsorship levels will receive an invitation to the sponsor reception; an invitation to the Survivors banquet; an invitation to the team captains social and recognition at the event. Platinum through Bronze categories will have the name listed on the special T-shirt. All sponsors will be listed in the event program.

A special fund-raiser, Century Notes, will also soon be underway, but Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s Signature activity, a community-developed, volunteer driven team even to fight cancer. All cancer survivors are invited to celebrate by joining in the event.