UNION — Union County Relay for Life celebrated reaching its goals for 2012 and set new goals — monetary and otherwise — for 2013.
Relay for Life hosted its 2012 Wrap-Up and 2013 Kick-Off event Tuesday at Tabernacle Baptist Church. There were 28 0f 33 participating teams represented at the event, and the official announcement was made that the relay met its 2012 fundraising goal of $100,000.
The top 10 fundraising teams of 2012 were as follows:
1. Dollar General — $11,052.32
2. Arthur State Bank Junior Board — $9,592.55
3. Red Spot — $8,301.48
4. Grace United Methodist Church — $7,412.82
5. Bantam Chef of Union — $5,679.73
6. Fairforest Baptist Church — $4,775.50
7. Jonesville K-8 — $4,720. 00
8. Bethel United Methodist Church — $4,600.00
9. Over the Hill Gang — $4,245.00
10. Bogansville United Methodist Church — $4,100.00
Others were also recognized for outstanding contributions to the relay in the past year. The 2012 Union County Relay for Life Presenting Sponsor award was given to Dollar General. In addition to Dollar General’s fund raising team raising the most funds, the corporate office contributed $5,000.
The 2012 Friend of the Relay award was presented to Wanda Littlejohn.
Event chair Beth Lancaster said Littlejohn was recognized for her support and dedication to the Union County Relay for Life.
“She was a driving force in the Arthur State Bank Jr. Board team, and they were the top newcomer in money raised categories,” Lancaster said.
The 2012 Outstanding Committee Member award was presented to Dottie Bevis, who serves as the event’s T-Shirt chair.
“She puts a lot of time and effort into taking the teams’ Relay shirt orders that they sold for fundraisers and getting the shirts separated and delivered to the team captains,” Lancaster said.
Next year’s event is scheduled for May 10, 2013, and event co-chair Torance Inman said the goals are simple. Monetarily, the goal will be $100,000, which is set by the American Cancer Society. Inman said he would like to accomplish that by growing the number of relay teams to at least 40.
Inman also said there will be a heavy emphasis on luminaries in honor and in memory of individuals who fought cancer.
“There’s much more to a luminary bag than a lighted candle,” Inman said. “We stress the importance of people understanding that the name on each of those bags represents a real person — family members, caregivers and friends.”
Tuesday evening’s event concluded with a luminary lighting ceremony of its own.
“It was moving — and sobering, when we thought about the fact that we had to change three names from ‘In Honor’ to ‘In Memory’ for the names collected for the luminaries in the last week,” Inman said. “We are fighting this thing every day and we need to continue to keep up the fight so there will be less ‘In Memory’ and more ‘In Honor,’ in hopes that one day there won’t be any at all.”
Inman also pointed out that of approximately 80 people who attended the event, only nine were men. He mentioned that Union County ranks very high in prostate cancer deaths, and the relay looks to get more men involved in early detection and treatment for prostate cancer.
“Prostate cancer can be stemmed with early detection — it’s just a simple blood test,” Inman said. “There is no reason a man should die with prostate cancer. It can be treated or the prostate can be removed if caught in time.”
To get more men involved, Inman said the relay will reform its 100 Man team again this year.
“We try to find men who are not currently on a Relay for Life team,” Inman said. “We jokingly say we raise money to fight cancer the manly way — get our wives to do it or just write a check! But we will come together and have some fun as we raise money, and together, we will make the team lap at the relay. It’s quite impressive to see 100 men stepping out to fight cancer.”
For more information about becoming a member of the 100 Man team, contact Torance Inman at (864) 427-9039 or Jonesville Mayor Ernest Moore at (864) 674-5746.
For more information about Union County Relay for Life, contact Beth Lancaster by calling (864) 426-3438 or emailing email@example.com.