Fundraising heats up as Relay for Life nears
by Marie Nesmith
Aug 15, 2013 | 2231 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With participants encouraged to coordinate the color of their footwear to denote a type of cancer, Hailey Hightower will don a pair of lime green shoes to “heel out” lymphoma in the third annual High Heel Parade Saturday. Presented by Melissa & Co. Salon’s 21-member Relay for Life team, the American Cancer Society fundraiser will begin in the parking lot of the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center at 135 W. Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville at 11:15 a.m., with registration beginning at 10 a.m.

“Melissa [Porter] and I have coordinated this together,” Hightower said. “We’ve made it a huge event, bigger than it’s ever been before this year and this is the third year. I know for myself, my mom battled cancer and has been in remission for years, and then recently my stepfather was diagnosed with lymphoma. So it just being right at this time that’s really what means the most to me, that’s what’s got me so amped to [raise money for Relay for Life] because it just came out of the blue and now he’s in chemo.

“I know for Melissa, she decided to do this after meeting Beth Wesley and Alyssa Leonard — two little girls that are battling cancer and she decided that it was something fun for them to do. They actually ride ... in the car that leads [the parade] every year. ... [As with] any kind of fundraiser event for health benefits ... some way, shape or form you’ve come into contact or you have experienced it whether it [was] yourself or someone you loved or cared about.”

Along with the parade, the offering will feature a pageant and Flavors of Cartersville, consisting of restaurant vendors and entertainment provided by Fusion Dance Company. While the entry fee for the pageant is $35 by today, parade participants, who are 11 and older, need to pay $10 per person or $100 for 10 people or more. The parade is free for walkers 10 and younger. Details about the event can be obtained by calling Melissa & Co. Salon at 770-386-2252.

With Bartow’s Relay for Life less than a month away, participating teams are busy fundraising for the American Cancer Society.

In its 20th year in Cartersville, the ACS’s Sept. 6 benefit is trying to recruit 125 teams and raise $325,000. The overnight event in which team members will take turns walking around Cartersville’s Dellinger Park track will culminate months of fundraising by participants. Last year, 109 teams generated more than $300,000 for the American Cancer Society, which provides information, offers programs to patients, and funds research for cancer treatments and cures.

Like the Melissa & Co. Salon team, Cartersville Medical Center and Louise Lane, a member of Shaw Industries Plant 12, are busy organizing events. To be held nearly one month apart, the motorcycle benefits also will support the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event.

The Masonic Motorcycle Club of Georgia will assist Lane’s team by presenting Give Cancer a Ride to the Moon Aug. 24. Starting at Bojangles’ restaurant in Cartersville at 9 a.m. — registration will begin at 8 a.m. — entry fees will be $25 per rider and $10 for each passenger. For more information or to pre-register, contact Lane at or 770-547-4303.

On Sept. 28, CMC’s Relay Ride for Life will depart at 10 a.m. from The Hope Center. To participate, entrants will pay $25 per bike, which covers at T-shirt and lunch for a passenger. Other passengers can purchase lunch for $5 and a T-shirt for $10.

“There are quite a few staff, including physicians, at Cartersville Medical Center who enjoy motorcycle riding,” said Ginger Tyra, director of CMC’s marketing and public relations. “Several years ago, one of our nurses, Barbara Belew, took it upon herself to coordinate a motorcycle ride that would not only be a fun event, but would also benefit cancer patients. The event has steadily grown and includes lunch, live entertainment, door prizes and free health screenings. We’ve also enjoyed a great partnership with Pine Log United Methodist Church, who has provided youth volunteers in the past and will welcome bikers to their church at the conclusion of this year’s ride for the post-ride lunch and festivities.

“I learned last year that bikers are some of the most generous souls in a community. When they support a cause, they’re all in. This is a great opportunity for them to help others while doing what they love to do. We’re looking forward to seeing each and every one of them again this year.”

While advance registration for Relay Ride for Life is encouraged by calling 800-242-5662 or visiting, motorcyclists also can sign up on the day of the event at 9 a.m.

To view additional Relay for Life fundraisers, ranging from a golf tournament to barbecue plates, visit Along with the website, more information about Relay for Life can be obtained by calling Gretchen Barkley, American Cancer Society’s northwest Georgia senior community manager, at 770-429-1624.