Send Cancer Packing: Relay for Life kicks off Relay fund raising season

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By Denise DuBois

It’s packing up its things. It’s going on a trip. Its destination is Cure City, USA. Russell County Relay for Life is kicking off its annual fund raising season with the theme: “Send Cancer Packing to Cure City, USA.” Kickoff is Jan. 10 at noon at First Baptist Church on Summerville Road.

Committee Chairperson Dimple Davis said the committee has been meeting for months to discuss the theme.

“They envisioned putting it in a suitcase for a one way ticket out of town,” Davis said.

The American Cancer Society estimates 1.7 million new cases of cancer were expected in 2018 and 609,640 deaths from cancer in 2018. According to a recent study, at least 42 percent of newly diagnosed cancers in the US – about 729,000 cases in 2018 – are potentially avoidable, including 19 percent that are caused by smoking and 18 percent that are caused by a combination of excess body weight, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption and poor nutrition.

This is the reason so many people in Russell County are passionate about Relay for Life and sending cancer packing.

“Fundraising is always important, but I also am a member of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and have been fortunate to attend some Research Conferences and meetings and have heard from survivors who have benefited from research and trials that have been approved. Unfortunately there is not a ‘cure-all’ for all cancer, but one at a time it is improving,” Davis said.

Throughout the upcoming months, there will be events to help raise money. Previous events include golf tournaments, fishing tournaments, lunch sales and more. The events will culminate in the annual big Relay for Life event May 3 at 7 p.m. ET at Idle Hour Sports Complex. Visit for more information.

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in thousands of communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give of their time and effort because they believe it’s time to take action against cancer.

Relay is a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each event is 6-24 hours in length and each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps.

Each team sets up a themed campsite at the event and continues their fundraising efforts by collecting donations for food, goods, games, and activities. This money will count towards their overall team fundraising goal.

During the event, there is a luminary ceremony where names of cancer survivors and those who have succumbed to cancer are read. The baseball field will be lined with paper luminaries denoting names in honor of or in memory of loved ones.

Money raised for Relay for Life is donated to the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society funds and conducts research to prevent cancer.

“Relay has always for me been personal,” Davis added. “I am tired of it taking friends and family from me.  This year it has gone beyond that, my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He is doing great and we have research and God to thank for that.”