Bartow's Relay for Life campaign kicks off tonight
by Marie Nesmith
Feb 27, 2014 | 843 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Even though the event is more than six months away, Relay for Life of Bartow County’s organizers are rallying the community to start forming teams and fundraising for this annual event.

Tonight at 6, the public is invited to a Relay for Life Kick-off Party at Heritage Baptist Church, 1070 Douthit Ferry Road in Cartersville. Attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to the informational event, which also is a potluck dinner.

“It’s more or less the beginning of our season, to get people involved and let them know to start putting your teams together, start fundraising,” said Katie Murray, co-chairman for this year’s Relay for Life event. “We try to do several things throughout the year so people realize Relay is not just one day a year. So this is kind of like the start of it all for everybody.

“[At the party], we will see if anyone wants to join the committee and help out in any volunteer positions we might have. We will also be providing teams with any kind of paperwork for accounting purposes or fundraising, talking about our luminaries and our caregiver stones that we sell throughout the year.”

The money garnered on and prior to the Relay for Life overnight event on Sept. 5 will support the American Cancer Society, which provides information, offers programs to patients, and funds research for cancer treatments and cures. Months of fundraising will culminate with the benefit in which team members will take turns walking around the Dellinger Park track. Last year, 101 teams generated $270,111 for the ACS.

“The goal for this year is $273,000,” said Peggy Davis, Relay for Life specialist for ACS’ South Atlantic Division. “It’s definitely important to raise the money because so many people can benefit from that. ... We have a Hope Lodge ... in Atlanta on Emory campus. It’s basically free lodging for those that are going through treatment and need a place to stay if they have a treatment during the day and they have another one at night or if they can’t drive home if they live a long distance [away].

“... We also do a Road to Recovery, which is a volunteer program to drive ones to and from treatments if they can’t drive themselves. Most people can’t drive after having chemo or radiation treatments. Also we have a program called Look Good...Feel Better and it’s for women who have had breast cancer and they can have the opportunity to get free wigs, makeup classes and just basically health classes that help them during that time.”

For more information about the Relay for Life Kick-off Party or how to participate in the Sept. 5 benefit, Davis can be reached at 770-429-1624 or peggy.davis@cancer.org.

“We want the whole community to be there,” Davis said, referring to tonight’s Kick-off Party. “So it is for everyone just to come out and have a good time and learn about Relay for Life. ... It’s actually a really fun process.

“[Relay for Life] is an overnight event and the overnight [component] signifies a cancer patient’s ability to not stop, to keep going. So we want to definitely honor them throughout the night and have somebody walking on the track at all times. There’s different fundraisers and things that go on. The community really gets involved. So it’s just a really great event and great fundraiser.”

In addition to contacting Davis, further details on the Relay for Life event can be found at www.bartowrelayforlife.org.