Relay For Life 2016: Keep It Local

Relay For Life 2016:

Keep It Local

By Rebecca Ruehl – Washington County Relay For Life

Keep it Local!

You hear this all the time. Shop local. Support your hometown. Keep it in town. That’s a great concept – except when it comes to Relay for Life. Every year, someone will say “I just wish the money stayed in Washington County.” Well, I do too — in theory. That seems like a good idea, right? We do the bake sales and then we use it to help your fellow county friends? We don’t have to share with anyone else, especially that crooked northern part of the state and we can see the immediate benefits from it, right? Wrong. And here’s why.

1. Our little county has raised over $1million in donations in 19 years. That’s a lot of money that could really help someone. But…for fun, let’s just say I’m in charge of it (stop laughing). I put some of it into a great investment account that’s sure to make a huge return – only it sinks and we lose $50k the first year.

2. Next, I have 2 friends, a cousin’s best friend and another family member sick. One is going to Mayo, one is about to lose their house and the other two have standard treatment. I give $100k to one, $200k to another and $10k to each of the other two. That totals $320k in just one year’s time.

3. The next year a little girl is sick and needs to fly to Texas each week for treatment. I think that’s just awful so our county pays for her flights. That’s $3k a week for an entire year – and we throw in some extra because we feel so bad = $175k (give or take).

4. 8 women in the county develop breast cancer and lose their hair. I buy 3 wigs for each of them= $6k.

5. 15 people can’t afford their prescriptions. One poor soul pays over $1200 a month for prescriptions coverage. I agree that it’s just awful and pay for them all = $20k

6. Mr. & Mrs. Smith are receiving treatment in St. Louis and just can’t make the drive daily. I pay for them to stay at the Hampton for 6 weeks = $5500

7. The local high school holds a contest to see who can find the cure for cancer. 17 kids apply. The one who wins thinks it can be cured by adapting a standard drug for use in lung cancer. I give him $250k to start up a chemistry lab.

We’ve now spent $826,500 in just a few years.

Now do you see why this is a bad idea? Each idea is a great one, and each one pulls on your heartstrings for sure. And all of the great ideas I funded above? Each is already funded by the American Cancer Society.

You need a wig? There is a Wig Closet at Good Sam in Mt. Vernon.

Need help with prescription cost? 1-800-ACS-2345.

Need arrangements with a flight? 1-800-ACS-2345. Research? You better believe we have that covered.

In fact, Joe Biden met with big whigs in Washington recently and helped launch the boldest, think-outside-the-box initiative yet – the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. We’re partnering with many others organizations who are committed to eliminating cancer once and for all.

So… please worry no more about where the money is going. It’s going to fund a cure, it’s going to buy a wig for your Aunt Bertha, it’s going to Hope Lodge so people have a free, nice place to stay when going through treatment. In a nutshell, it’s going to cure cancer.

www.acs.org // 1-800-ACS-2345 // me @ 618.791.8214