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2009 Relay for Life Set Print E-mail

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity. Bamberg County organizers are looking to make this year’s event the best ever. Relay for life will begin on Friday, May 1 at 6:00 p.m. and will end on Saturday, May 2 at 6:00 a.m. This popular local event offers “everyone in the community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer,” said volunteer and cancer survivor Jack Steadman. So what happens at a Relay for Life event?” Teams of people camp out on the football field of the Leon Maxwell stadium and take turns walking or running around the track. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. There is food, entertainment and lots of family fun. Relay for Life is an overnight event for the Bamberg County community. “The evening is like an all night Field Day event for adults and children, said Steadman.

The Relay for Life event “is a life-changing event that brings the community together,” said Valerie Bridges, community manager for the American Cancer Society. Bridges represents several counties that make up the South Atlantic division, including, Bamberg, Barnwell, Allendale and Orangeburg Counties.

Steadman and his wife Mary have dedicated many years to working with Relay for Life. The couple is encouraging the community to help celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. “The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight,” said Steadman. He encourages all Bamberg County survivors to register with the Relay for Life planning committee.

Cancer survivors can register on the Relay for Life website or fill out the “survivor’s” application that is included in this week’s paper. The committee needs this information so that all survivors are recognized during the event. Jack and Mary Steadman invite those who have had cancer and those who are living with cancer to register. The Steadman’s said individuals in their churches can also organize a “survivors” list by getting the names of “survivors” and turning them in to Mrs. Steadman and him.

Relay for Life volunteers such as Virginia Bell said, “Relay for Life is also an opportunity to remember loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing if the choose to, she said.

What can you do to help make Relay for Life in Bamberg County a success?

Organize a team and/or become a team captain.

Relay for Life teams are the heart of the Relay! A Team Captain agrees to serve in the following capacities:

  • Build a team of 10-15 members
  • Set a fund-raising goal for your team ($100/person is the recommended minimum)
  • Recognize cancer survivors on your team and participate in the survivorship celebrations at the event.
  • Distribute participant collection envelopes and other American Cancer Society fundraising tools to all team members.
  • Coach and motivate your team to success. This includes using all available forms of internal communications to generate enthusiasm and participation for the event (i.e., telephone, voicemail, email and/or newsletters)
  • Hold creative fundraisers to help your team raise money
  • Make available for sale “in memory” and “in honor” of luminaries.
  • Attend Bamberg County American Cancer Society planned Team Captain meetings
  • Recognize team members for their commitment to the fight against.

What kinds of people make teams?

  • A group of friends
  • Co-workers
  • Schools
  • Churches/Church Groups
  • Hospital/Nursing Homes
  • Banks
  • Doctor’s Offices
  • All Employees/Employers
  • Municipalities
  • Any group that wants to come together to help fight cancer.

Bamberg County hopes to register at least 25 teams within the next couple of weeks. Bridges said based on last year’s participation, 25 teams should be able to raise at least $65,000 to help eliminate cancer.

Where should you begin? It’s simple, just call Valerie Bridges at (803) 632-2048 or (803) 571-0557 (cell) or visit the Relay for Life website. Teams should be organized by March 1st.

For further information about the event, visit The website is a place where the Bamberg County community can register teams, register to volunteer and donate money. The next meeting for those who have interest in volunteering with Relay for Life in any capacity will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 24th.

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