Relay For Life, Ready To Roll In Madison

By Rose Klein Greene Publishing, Inc. The Relay for Life team has had somewhat of a slow start in Madison this year, but their last meeting on Feb. 18 left team members enthusiastic and ready to roll. Renae Williams and Nancy Taylor are the co-chairs for the organization this year and will be assisted by Sheila Griffin, Relay for Life’s Tallahassee representative. Relay for Life is a fundraising event sponsored by the American Cancer Society, made up of teams within a community, working to end cancer. A team can be any group of people that forms together, such as employees in a work place, family members, a social group, etc. that find ways to raise money by holding events such as carwashes, bake sales, raffles, sporting events, parties, donation jars or whatever creative event the team can concoct. The Relay event ends on a set date, this year is Friday, May 9, with teams camping out and taking turns walking around a track while other teams and participants will be entertaining with food, games and activities and continuing to raise money for cancer while building camaraderie in a family friendly environment. The nighttime event represents the dark walk a person diagnosed with cancer must make, but with the support of family, friends and help from the American Cancer Society, they can face the dawn, hopefully in the form of a cure. During the night event, participants will celebrate victories of those who have survived cancer, recognize those who have cared for cancer patients and remember those who lost their battle with cancer by holding a luminaria ceremony with lit candles inside paper bags, decorated by those who loved them. Money raised from Relay for Life teams go towards funding research to end cancer in the future, but it also helps those who are currently battling the disease right now. Programs that help cancer patients today are: Reach to Recovery, where patients recently diagnosed with breast cancer are paired with breast cancer survivors to help them navigate their journey and offer support; Road to Recovery offers transportation to and from treatments for those who need it; Hope Lodge gives lodging to patients undergoing treatment and their caregivers when away from home and Look Good…Feel Better is a free service to women offering beauty techniques to women to improve their appearance and self-image while they undergo chemotherapy and radiation. This year two changes have been made to Relay, making it easier than ever to participate. The first change involves team registration. Previously, the team registration fee was $100. Replacing the $100 fee is an online registration fee of $10 per person and once an individual registers with the $10, they will be recognized as a team. The second change involves the hours of the overnight walk. Previously the darkness to dawn event was 18 hours, this year the event will last only 12 hours, from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. It should also be noted that individuals participating in teams are not required to be present at the event the full 12 hours, allowing team members to alternate walk times in order to accommodate personal schedules. If you are interested in participating in Relay for Life, as an individual or as a team, you can call Renae Williams at (850) 673-8492 or Nancy Taylor at (850) 971-5655 in the evening. You can also go online to register as a team by visiting www.RelayForLife.org/madisonfl.

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