Many of you know we have started our 24th year of Relay For Life in Abbeville/McCormick and Greenwood Counites. It is the 23rd year for Newberry County. Some have stated “We are ready to make this year the best yet.” Some of you are saying, “We will do about what we did last year.” Others have said, “I will raise or write my check for $100 and be done.” While others have said, “I will donate and someone else can pick up the slack.”
Let me first share with you some numbers by county for 2017.
• Abbeville/McCormick – 27 teams, 162 participants, $94,000 raised.
• Greenwood – 39 teams, 392 participants, $145,000 raised.
• Newberry – 29 teams, 278 participants, $89,000 raised.
Now let me share with you what we can do if we just move the mark a little. We want to put the emphasis on the two anniversaries. For Abbeville/McCormick and Greenwood we are aiming for $4 per cap and Newberry $3 per cap. Now let me share with you the potential funds we can raise for the 2018 Relay season.
• Abbeville/McCormick population – 33,638 would equal $134,552.
• Greenwood population – 69,834 would equal $279,352.
• Newberry population – 38,012 would equal $114,036.
Many are saying this is “Pie in the sky” thinking. Not really, these counties have exceeded those amounts in the past. So, I am sure your next question is why the drop? Well, the best reason I can give is lack of volunteers. Volunteers to lead the event. Volunteers to start teams and volunteers to participant. I am blessed to have some very long-time veterans that support Relay to the fullest. But we are in need of new volunteers of all ages.
Relay For Life is as relevant today as is it was when it started in these counties and here is why. It brings people together for a common cause. It allows families, schools, churches, businesses and corporations to support those facing cancer and remember those lost to cancer. It raises awareness of the disease for all ages.
For 2018, we have some fun and exciting themes for our events. In Abbeville/McCormick it is Dr. Seuss, “Oh the Cancer we can Cure.” For Greenwood, it is “Once Upon a Cure.” Newberry, “The Colors of Cancer.” It is a great time to use your imagination and creativity.
Funds from Relay help right here in the Lakelands as well as across the nation and around the world. By providing free programs and services. Providing funding for much needed research. We currently have almost $5 million dollars in research happening in South Carolina. Nationwide last year over $400 million went to research from funds raised by Relay.
More than 800 newly diagnosed patients in South Carolina were helped last year by our patient navigators. Over 5,500 contacted our 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345 number. We provided over 1,100 free nights lodging in our Hope Lodge in Charleston. Over 650 women attended our Look Good…Feel Better sessions. These are for women that are about to or currently undergoing treatment. We provided over 600 wigs to cancer patients. We had more than 659,700 visits to our cancer.org website. So, imagine what else we can do in South Carolina with more volunteers and funds raised.
Survivors and caregivers, we need you too. We have many opportunities for you to help forward our mission. Your story and experiences can go a long way in helping those now facing this disease. Many of you can take part in the local programs we have and even help us get new ones started.
Former event leaders, team captains, participants and volunteers, we have not forgotten about you. You have helped us achieve success over the years and we would like to have you return in some capacity. You will be amazed at some of the changes and how easy it is to volunteer.
Let me be completely honest with you. Without volunteers, there is no American Cancer Society. You are the reason we have close to 15 million cancer survivors in the United States today. Because of you, lifesaving research is being done.
These four counties have the potential to raise $527,940 or more. But only with your help. You have an opportunity to make a difference in the life of someone you may never meet or even in the life of a family member or future generations. How? By going to one of the following websites; relayforlife.org/abbevillesc, relayforlife.org/greenwoodsc or relayforlife.org/newberrysc and signing up as a team or participant to help us reach our goals for 2018. You can also contact me at 864-871-4210.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”