Relay for Life supporters offer creative fundraisers as event nears
by Marie Nesmith
Jul 29, 2011 | 3708 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini, left, and Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown get acquainted with the camels at Scott and June Allen’s Pettit Creek Farms. The two government leaders will be mounting a camel for a ride in downtown Cartersville to support Relay for Life. Relay for Life fundraisers are being held throughout the county ranging from yard sales to motorcycle rides. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini, left, and Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown get acquainted with the camels at Scott and June Allen’s Pettit Creek Farms. The two government leaders will be mounting a camel for a ride in downtown Cartersville to support Relay for Life. Relay for Life fundraisers are being held throughout the county ranging from yard sales to motorcycle rides. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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For Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown and Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini, a successful Relay for Life fundraising effort will result in eyeing the community from the top of a camel. If the officials reach their goal of collecting $2,500 for the American Cancer Society's annual event, they will be treated to a camel ride, courtesy of Pettit Creek Farms, on Aug. 18 around 9 a.m. in downtown Cartersville.

"They came and talked to me some time back, the mayor and I, and wanted to know if I could do something," Brown said. "And they said, 'How about dressing up like a woman?' And I said, 'I'm not dressing up like a woman and I'm not kissing a pig, so what else?' So time rolled on, and I think Debbie [Andersen] might have come up with this, that 'Hey, would you ride a camel?' And I said, 'You know what, I'd do that.'

"I hope it will be a good fundraiser, but we want to help cancer victims any way we can because there are lots of them around. My church [Friendship Baptist] always backs the Relay for Life. They have a tent over at the park, and there are a lot of people that I go to church that are [recuperating from] cancer."

Along with soliciting funds from colleagues and loved ones, Brown and Santini will be seeking donations live on WBHF during the morning of Aug. 18. Leading up to the Camel Challenge to Fight Cancer fundraiser, the public can contribute to the cause by delivering checks made payable to the American Cancer Society to Cartersville City Hall, the Commissioner's Office or WBHF.

With Relay for Life less than 50 days away, supporters are thinking outside the box as well as implementing tried-and-true ideas when it comes to fundraisers. Posted on the event's website, www.bartowrelayforlife.org, are benefits ranging from corn hole tournaments to motorcycle rides to raffles.

"Basically we fundraise to raise every dime that is raised for the American Cancer Society," said Benita Hill, a co-chairman for Bartow County's Relay for Life. "There's no [payroll deduction] where you can take it out of your paycheck. This is all strictly fundraised through these teams in Bartow County. So it's very hard work on our teams' parts due to the fact that they have to fundraise to help us reach our goal."

The money garnered on and prior to the Relay for Life overnight event on Sept. 9 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, 99 teams generated $250,000. With 89 groups already registered, Hill believes the upcoming event is on track to reach its goals of recruiting 115 teams and raising $300,000.

"I'm a 10-year survivor and lost both parents to cancer," said Hill, who was diagnosed with sarcoma in 2001. "So for me, every day I hear somebody that's been diagnosed. And research shows that one in every three will be diagnosed with cancer.

"From what I've seen over the years from my dad, when he had it, to where it was when my mom passed away with it and what I went through ... [I have seen] the progress that has [been] made in research."

For more information about Relay for Life, visit www.bartowrelayforlife.org or call ACS Northwest Georgia Senior Community Manager Gretchen Barkley at 770-429-0089.