“Everybody’s getting really excited. ... The response has been wonderful,” said Peggy Davis, Relay for Life specialist for ACS’ South Atlantic Division. “We have 77 teams so far and 445 participants that have signed up and I’m actually signing up more right now. So far, we’ve raised a total of $71,688, which is amazing. It’s crunch time right now, so everybody is starting to get their fundraisers in. If anybody has a fundraiser they want me to post on the website or Facebook, I would be happy to do that. School’s starting back up and I know some schools have some fundraisers planned as well.
“... [I would encourage people to] be creative. The [fundraisers range] ... from barbecues to there’s actually a motorcycle race going on and Freddie Gunn [is presenting] a Pickin on the Creek with bluegrass [music]. ... People have had car washes. No donation is too little. Just be creative. Even the little kids have had little lemonade stands in front of their house. So it’s been really cute seeing the youth get involved and have their ideas as well.”
The money garnered on and prior to the Relay for Life overnight event on Sept. 5 will support the ACS, 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 Cartersville’s Dellinger Park track. In 2013, 101 teams generated $270,111 for the ACS. This year’s goal is $280,000.
As noted by Davis, several fundraisers across Bartow are posted on www.bartowrelayforlife.org. For the month of August, three benefits are being promoted:
• “Pickin on the Creek 2014” — Presented by the Gunn’s & Roses team, the Old Mill Road Band will perform Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. at Gunn Contracting, 35 Lipscomb Circle, Cartersville, next to Green Acres Pool Place. Gates will open at 6 p.m., and barbecue will be available. Admission will be $20, with youth 12 and younger being charged $10 each. For more information, contact Freddie Gunn at 678-873-4407.
• High Heel Parade — Organized by Melissa & Co. Salon, the fourth annual High Heel Parade, which also will include vendors, entertainment and a pageant, will be held in downtown Cartersville Aug. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Additional details can be obtained by calling 770-386-2252 or viewing the High Heel Facebook page.
• Motorcycle Ride — On Aug. 23, the ride will depart from Bojangles’, 459 E. Main St. in Cartersville, at 9 a.m. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Entrance fees will be a $25 donation for each rider and $15 per passenger. For more information, contact Louise Lane at email@example.com.
Having seen the impact of cancer firsthand, Gunn feels strongly about supporting the Relay for Life benefit each year.
“My wife passed away with cancer in 2009,” Gunn said, adding she battled soft tissue sarcoma, which is known to be very aggressive. “When she was diagnosed in ’05, we [were] already involved with the Relay a little bit but got more involved with it since she had cancer. Then my sister’s had breast cancer, but she’s doing very well, and my dad’s got lymphoma and he’s doing good. He hasn’t had [any] chemo or nothing. He keeps getting good reports.
“So I guess the bottom line is it affects you and your family and your friends in some way. It’s just everywhere you look. To me, I feel like it’s an epidemic. It just seems like every other day you hear somebody that you know that’s being diagnosed or going through the battle.”
For more information about upcoming fundraisers or how to participate in the Relay for Life benefit, visit www.bartowrelayforlife.org or contact Davis at 800-227-2345 or firstname.lastname@example.org.