By Rebecca Ruehl
In case you don’t know what Relay for Life is, it is a volunteer-driven, American Cancer Society-supported, year-round fundraiser that “Celebrates.Remembers.And Fights Back.” against cancer. Our county (yes, just our county) has had a Relay for Life since 1998 and has raised over $1.5 MILLION since that time (WOW). What started out as a great idea has morphed into a phenomenal county-wide fundraising drive fueled by 30+ dedicated teams. Nationwide, over $400 million is raised for the American Cancer Society and over 4 million people in 20 countries participate.
To keep the momentum going, there are LOTS of new things being rolled out this year. This year’s event is Saturday, May 7 beginning at 4pm at the Nashville High School track. Fundraisers are already in the works. You can check out our Facebook page (WashCo Relay Illinois) or you can go to the county’s website: www.relayforlife.org/washingtoncountyil for more info 24/7.
If you are interested in having a team, please visit the website where you can register and gather materials to get started. You’d think that since we have been doing this so long, every area of the county has been reached. There is still work to do! We would love to welcome some of the smaller communities who are dealing with cancer, too. There are churches who could get involved, and there are some industries/business in Nashville and Okawville who could join in, too. Having a team can be a huge involvement or it could be 10 bowling friends joining together to write letters asking for donations. Every team is different – and since every dollar counts, it doesn’t matter if you are a Top 10 team – it just matters that you are INVOLVED.
Tamoxifen, pap tests, PSA, mammograms, lung cancer advances, Smoke-Free Illinois – NONE of these breakthroughs would have been accomplished without your support. And look at how many more birthdays people are celebrating because of them!
So…. What can you do? GET ON IT! Check out the website. Ask a friend how she’s doing with her treatment. Buy a cupcake – heck, buy 3! and watch for more Relay for Life info next week. In the coming weeks, we’re going to cover where your money goes, first-hand accounts of people who’ve come through the other side, we might even preach a “come to Jesus” story that just might make you run out and support Relay.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 7- and I double-dog dare you to come to a meeting. They’re the first Monday of the month beginning at 6pm at the Washington County Hospital conference room (in the basement). Be a part of something bigger than yourself – and let’s end this thing, whatdya say?