Relay Reveals Heroes

The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life is a unique fundraising event that runs mostly on enthusiasm. Its advocates say, with each step the walkers take, the closer we all get to eliminating cancer.

"When I was first a volunteer we said, one out of four cancer patients could be saved," said volunteer, Betty Lou Jones of Meridian. "Now three out of four can be saved. Not only the treatment is easier. The quality of life is so much better."

The funding for research is what makes the hope for a cure possible.

The volume of awards bestowed at the Mississippi Relay Rally in Jackson was too many to mention individually.

But Lauderdale County led the way. Four teams from Lauderdale County raised over $10,000 each including Anderson Nursing Administrators, Mississippi Power Company, Northcrest Baptist Church Team #3, and Camie's Crusaders, named for cancer survivor, Camie Heard.

"I was so impressed and so inspired by her attitude when she was diagnosed," said longtime friend Carrie Latham, team captain for Camie's Crusaders.

"It is an awesome, awesome honor," said Heard. "Of course the ultimate goal is to find a cure for this."

Lauderdale County placed at the top in the Mid-South division of six states in per-capita giving. WTOK was recognized for best overall coverage of the relay for Life in the Mid-South division. Extended Web Coverage

Relay for Life

  • Relay For Life began in 1985 when Dr. Gordon Klatt, a Tacoma, Washington surgeon and an American Cancer Society volunteer, ran and walked on a local track for 24 hours traveling 81 miles.

  • Klatt put together a relay event that raises more than $2 million each year to fight cancer.

  • On the day of the event, teams of people gather at school or community football fields, fairgrounds or parks and take turns walking, jogging or running laps.

  • Each team is asked to keep at least one representative of their team on the track at all times.

  • The Relay For Life is also a fund-raising event. Each team member is asked to raise a minimum of $100 from donors before the event.

  • To raise money, team members solicit donations, and hold garage sales, car washes and other fun-filled activities.

Source: (The American Cancer Society Relay for Life Web site)