Our view: Relay volunteers make a difference
Apr 21, 2010 | 1726 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In just about every issue of the St. Clair Times at this time of year, you’ll find some mention of teams raising money for Relay for Life, a nationwide effort of the American Cancer Society that focuses on remembering cancer victims, honoring cancer survivors and funding cancer research.

Teams form in workplaces, churches, clubs and schools. They raise money in endlessly creative ways in the weeks before the final event, an all-night walking relay.

Check our Community Calendar any week during the spring, and you’ll see upcoming bake sales, carwashes, yard sales, luminaria sales, even fashion shows for Relay for Life.

These are important, for they give members of the community a way to participate in the fight against cancer in a small, but meaningful way. Individually, these events, these calendar items, don’t tell the story of Relay for Life. Collectively, they do. Hundreds of volunteers across east central Alabama are raising many thousands of dollars and getting ready for their relay events.

Every team has heart-wrenching stories of struggle and survival. Ten-year-old Amber DeRamus in Moody is raising money in memory of her mother Jessica. The St. Clair Association of Realtors and Affiliates Team has dedicated this year’s relay to Realtor Maria Price, who is battling cancer. Valerie Shear, co-captain of Jacob’s Angels Relay Team in Pell City, became involved in the Relay for Life after her son Jacob was diagnosed with cancer. Seven-year-old Jacob is co-captain of the team.

St. Clair County has two relay events, Leeds and Moody combine for another, and Trussville has its own relay. The events stage special honors for survivors, some with a pre-relay dinner and some with first lap of the walk. Luminarias, votive candles inside paper bags weighted with sand, are lit at dusk to commemorate those lost to cancer.

The St. Clair County Relay for in Life Pell City starts at 6 p.m. April 30 at Pell City High School’s Pete Rich Stadium. So far 298 members of 38 teams have raised more than $27,140.

The Relay for Life for North St. Clair starts at 6 p.m. April 30 at Springville High School Stadium. It has 120 participants in 19 teams with more than $3,960 raised so far.

Relay for Life of East Jefferson/Trussville starts at 6 p.m. April 30 at The Mall. So far, 228 participants in 23 teams have raised more than $10,800.

Relay for Life for Leeds and Moody starts at 2 p.m. May 7 at Moody High School. Twenty teams with 178 members have raised more than $12,345.

Complete information about the relays all across the country is online at www.relayforlife.com. There you can watch your team’s progress, make a donation or even start a team of your own.

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