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Relay for Life teams hard at work raising money to fight cancer

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

For more than 20 years, Dallas County community members have raised money in support of cancer research with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Each year, teams and sponsors gear up to put their best foot forward as they raise money for the cause. This year there are 13 relay teams pitching in to help Dallas County reach its $100,000 goal.

As teams prepare for the area’s Relay for Life event that’s scheduled for June 1, each one is responsible for coming up with unique ways of raising funds.

One of those teams is the Vaughan Regional Medical Center team.

Team Vaughan has hosted several events to benefit the cause, including Masquerading for the Cure, Real Men Wear Pink and their recent, a steak sale.

Alvin Craig, Relay for Life event lead and Team Vaughan member, said the team has raised thousands of dollars toward the cause, and they continue to reach for their $10,000 goal.

Craig said last year was a very successful year for Dallas County as a whole, and the area raised the most money it’s ever raised for the cause.

The total funds raised by teams were more than $100,000, and this year’s goal was intentionally set to match last year’s.

“We want to piggy back off what we did last year,” Craig said.

Craig believes the fight against cancer is relevant because it affects everyone in some way.

“Cancer touches everyone,” he said. “Everyone has been affected by cancer in some kind of way.”

Craig said even local schools are joining in on the cause. Clark Elementary, Payne Elementary, Byrd Elementary and Southside High School are just some of the schools participating in this year’s efforts.

Craig said even though it is too late to register a team for this year, there is still a way for individuals or organizations to help.

“We need the sponsors to help reach our goal,” he said. “Without the sponsors, we can’t really make this happen.”

Regional American Cancer Society administrator Bridget Mills said aside from understanding the local impact of Relay for Life, she wants people to understand the global impact.

“Our reach goes beyond only funding cancer research,” Mills said.

She believes that it is about much more than just collecting donations for the cause.

“It gives them a voice to say that they are not going to sit down and watch cancer take the lives of their loved ones and people in the community,” Mills said.