Over the past few months three Project GIFT teams have been working to raise funds for the American Cancer Society (ACS) through participation in local Relay for Life events. Relay for Life is ACS’s signature event and marks a time to honor, remember and celebrate those who have been affected by cancer.
This year marks Starkville’s 13th year of participation in their local Relay for Life event inspired by Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat.” Blackshirts from Starkville sold barbecue, drinks and chips at their tent to raise funds during the event. The Starkville team faced an additional challenge this year. Previously, their local Relay for Life was held in August; however, this year it was rescheduled to May, causing time to be an obstacle. Despite this, the team still managed to raise a record amount of funds totaling $13,745. Rochelle Harris, Starkville’s Giving Back coordinator, expressed her dedication to the fight against cancer. “Cancer is a battle, but we are fighting against it every day by raising awareness, researching for cures and being there for one another,” said Harris. “We can conquer and get through this deadly disease as long as we continue to fight against it.”
Carrollton, Georgia On May 4, 24 Blackshirt volunteers from the West Georgia area participated in their Star Wars-themed Relay for Life event. Jordan Weathers, corporate Human Resources specialist, was instrumental to the success and planning of this year’s event. Weathers incorporated interactive stations for attendees to donate and participate in the various Star Wars activities. “My favorite part of Relay for Life was simply seeing the sheer number of people involved and in attendance,” said Weathers. “It’s an incredible event, and the level of support from the west Georgia community was amazing. The event itself is a time to remember those who have passed due to cancer, honor those who have fought and won their battle against the disease and rally around those who may be fighting now.” Star Wars-themed “Rebel Against Cancer” t-shirts were sold prior to the event to help raise money. Through t-shirt sales and funds collected during Relay for Life, Carrollton was able to donate more than $10,000 to ACS.
Bremen, Indiana Entering their fourth year of participation, Jodie Overmyer and Christie Alley, both Giving Back coordinators, led their team through another successful event. This year’s theme was “Carnival for a Cure.” The Bremen team integrated the theme into their activities with a Ring Master and an opportunity for kids to jump through hoops and run around a ring. They also sold their Relay-famous walking tacos as an onsite fundraiser. “I believe the Luminaria Ceremony is one of my favorite parts,” said Overmyer. “It really makes you think, as you are passing each Luminaria bag, about how many lives are affected by such a terrible disease, including not only those who are battling the disease or have lost their fight, but those who are also living with the pain of watching their loved ones through the battle.” This year Bremen raised more than $2,000 for ACS to beat their total funds raised for Relay for Life in 2017.