05/24/06 — Raising the bar: County’s efforts for Relay for Life will make a difference

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Raising the bar: County’s efforts for Relay for Life will make a difference

If you know anyone who lives outside Wayne County who has been involved with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and you tell them this county raised more than $550,000 last year, they will be astonished at the figure.

Few communities this size or larger can put together that kind of fundraising effort and have it succeed.

Imagine this year, when you tell them that this community contributed more than $615,000 to the battle to find a cure for cancer.

It is easy to see what motivates so many to be a part of this annual fundraising extravaganza. If you have never been, go, just once, and you will see why so many give so much.

There are stories of hope and courage everywhere.

Wayne County’s loyal volunteers don’t participate so they can win campsite awards or because they have nothing better to do over the weekend.

They don’t work for months creating elaborate sets and raising money just because the Relay for Life is a fun, community event, either.

So many Wayne County residents become a part of Relay for Life because of the number of people in their own lives who have been touched by cancer.

There were plenty of stories told this past weekend. All of them emphasized just how ruthless this disease can be, and how brave those people are who battle it despite sometimes insurmountable odds. It is hard not to be inspired to persevere in your own life when you hear their stories of courage.

There were children who have recovered — and those who are still fighting. There were families who honored loved ones lost, while others celebrated survivors’ courage to continue fighting.

All of them brought home that the reason this county cares so much is that there are so many people to care about.

This year’s Relay will bring in far more than $615,000 before the final tally is complete. That is a lot of money. And, knowing this county, next year’s total will be even higher.

All that money will be used to help fund the research that someday will make a Relay for Life unnecessary.

In the meantime, all those who worked hard on this year’s Relay should be commended. Their efforts made a difference in the lives of those who are fighting cancer now, as well as for those who will battle it in the future.

Well done.

Published in Editorials on May 24, 2006 11:08 AM