Relay of hope: Volunteers motivated to conquer dreaded diseaseWayne County really does rock. At least when it comes to the Relay for Life. The annual campaign to raise money to fund cancer research officially kicked off last week, with the actual relay planned for mid-May. The goal is to raise more than a half-million dollars, which is still less than the amount that was actually raised in 2005. And that is what makes this relay effort so special. It is nothing short of amazing that a community this size could raise more than $500,000 for cancer research — and is planning to continue to grow that fundraising goal. The reason the effort is so successful is the large number of volunteers who are willing to donate months to planning, organizing and running the annual Relay for Life event. They truly are driven, spending hours getting ready for the relay and pushing teams to raise as much money as possible. They are motivated usually by personal experience with cancer — or with someone in their family who has cancer or has beaten the disease. In fact, one of the most touching parts of any relay event is when those in attendance pause to honor those who are still fighting, and those who have lost their battles with the disease. And therein lies what the relay is all about — people. Most of the people who give so much to this cause do so not because the money raised goes to the American Cancer Society. They don’t dress up, spend months on booths and otherwise put so much effort into fundraising just to get their names in the paper or to earn a plaque. They raise this money every year so that, someday, there will be a cure — and that a future cancer patient will not have to fight the fight they have or a future family will not have to mourn a loved one lost much too early. The Relay for Life is about survivors, role models and heroes who want to make sure the future is better for someone else. This is our chance to be part of that effort.
Published in Editorials on February 4, 2006 11:37 PM