Relay for Life kickoff deemed a ‘success’ by organizersBy Emily Beckett Published 2:59pm Tuesday, January 21, 2014
About 60 people gathered at the Alabama Power Conference Center the evening of Jan. 14 to celebrate the kickoff of Chilton County’s 2014 Relay For Life campaign.
The theme for this year’s Relay event and fundraising efforts is “A Time for a Cure.”
“Kickoff was a huge success in my opinion,” Relay Chairwoman Courtney Brock said. “Anytime there are that many people together sharing the same passion, especially for such a great cause as fighting against cancer, it can’t be anything but a success and a blessing.”
Several Relay committee members spoke about different aspects of the upcoming 12-hour event in April, as well as the benefits and services of the American Cancer Society.
“This year will be Chilton County’s 20th year to Relay,” Brock said. “It began in 1994 with only five teams raising $9,300, and it has grown every year.”
Funds from local individuals, teams and sponsorships in 2013 totaled more than $139,000, and Brock said the committee’s monetary goal this year is $153,000.
“With the support of Chilton County, we can obtain that goal,” Brock said. “Our goals for 2014 are to celebrate with as many survivors as possible, remember those taken from us, fight back with those battling and to ultimately finish the fight.”
The kickoff event also allowed team captains to get their teams registered and receive their captain kits.
Nearly 20 people at the kickoff event were cancer survivors.
“The highlight of the evening was an inspiring survivor testimony given by Buddy Gray,” Brock said. “He shared the story of his fight while also giving some words of encouragement to others and offering an open invitation to anyone needing someone to talk to during their battle.”
DJ Willie Harris provided musical entertainment, and several door prizes were given away.
Helfi’s Grill prepared and donated an assortment of sandwiches and desserts, and B’s Market donated side dishes.
In keeping with this year’s theme, Brock said she and her committee are encouraging everyone participating in Relay to choose a decade to represent with T-shirt design, attire, accessories, campsite décor, music and more.
“Committee members started things off at the kickoff by dressing to represent the 20s, 50s, 70s, 80s, etc.,” Brock said. “We are hoping to add a little bit more fun and overall participation while still keeping our focus on the real meaning and goal.”
Brock said the committee has met since October and will continue to meet to prepare for the Relay season.
Team captain meetings will be held monthly starting Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. at Clanton First United Methodist Church. Teams have already begun fundraising efforts.
Anyone may get involved as a committee member, team member, individual participant, caregiver, survivor, sponsor or contributor by contacting Brock at firstname.lastname@example.org, Lucy Sims at email@example.com, calling (334) 301-2304 or registering online at Relayforlife.org/chiltonal.
Unlike past Relays that started on Friday night, the 2014 Relay event will be held Saturday, April 26 from noon to midnight at the youth football field at Clanton City Park.
“This year, the event time and day will be different,” Brock said. “We hope making these changes will allow for more people to attend and hopefully stay for the entire event. We will have many familiar activities such as the Survivor Lap and Luminaria Ceremony, but we are adding some new and exciting things as well.
“We plan to incorporate our survivors and caregivers in a bigger capacity, get the teams more involved in activities and also have an overall theme for the event, “A Time for a Cure.”