The common goal of finding a cure for cancer joined thirty team captains at Roswell Relay for Life’s Kick-Off dinner on Thursday.
Team captains met together over barbeque to discuss goals and fundraisers for the 2012 event, which takes place this year, April 27–28 at . Last year, 944 volunteers made up 47 teams, and this year, co-chair Katha Stuart wants to beat those numbers.
“Our goal this year is to have at least 1,000 participants and raise $181,000 for the cure,” Stuart says. “Last year, our goal was $150,000 and we raised $180,000. We’re not going backwards; we’re going to beat it this year.”
Bake sales, car washes and pledges account for the most of the money Relay for Life raises every year for cancer research. More than half of those funds come from an unexpected source.
“The local schools are very supportive of Relay for Life,” Stuart says. “When you think about it, it’s really the kids who are making the difference in the fight against cancer.”
Perhaps the most exciting part of the Roswell's Relay for Life event this year is the Cancer Prevention Study (CPS) has been approved to set up at the relay itself. The first study started in the 1950’s and linked cigarette smoking to lung cancer. In this, the third study of its kind, basic physicals and blood samples are taken from volunteers and every four or five years, they are sent health questionnaires to fill out and return.
“This is a huge deal for us to get approved to do this,” Stuart says.
Every team captain present had their own reason for being involved in Relay for Life. Roswell City Council member Rich Dippolito has been involved in Relay for Life for years. He gave a speech at the dinner about his father recently being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Carla Doyle’s reason is her daughter, Courtney, whose life was cut short by cancer on May 1, 2008. Doyle’s 17-yr-old son, Conner, is the “Milton High Eagles” team captain. The “Milton high Eagles” team came in third last year by raising over $13,000. Doyle’s team has 40 team members this year and has raised $2,000 so far.
“I do this for her. She was a model,” Doyle says, showing a picture of a young, slender brunette. “She was just getting started, really.”