The 2018 Relay For Life of Cullman County event planned for Friday, May 4, will be the 25th annual event in Cullman County to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. A Kickoff Celebration will be held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 11 in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church of Cullman.
The first Relay For Life event held in Cullman County in 1994 in memory of Jimmy Gilley, and raised more than $81,000 for the American Cancer Society’s efforts toward research, patient support and assistance and education. Since then, the local event has raised well over $1 million through efforts by local volunteers, sponsors and teams.
“Cullman County has a long history of stepping up to the plate to help worthy causes,” said Helen Allen, chair of Cullman’s Relay For Life event. “I’ve been involved for almost all of the 25 years Relay has been in Cullman and I’m proud of the work we’ve done and prouder to see the advances made in cancer treatments just in that time. But we still have a long way to go to find cures that will end cancer for good. In the meantime, the American Cancer Society also offers patients and their families assistance in the way of 24-hour access to find answers about certain types of cancers, treatment options, ongoing research, insurance questions and patient assistance through its toll-free hotline and website. It also offers programs like Look Good Feel Better, Reach to Recovery, Road to Recovery and the Hope Lodge, which offers free lodging at facilities across the United States.
“I know people locally who have benefited from these services and I’m proud that the efforts we’ve taken here have helped provide these services and programs to our area residents and all cancer patients around the world.”
Allen issued a special invitation to teams who participated in the first event in 1994 to return to the event for its 25th anniversary. Some of the teams recognized for their efforts at the inaugural event were West Elementary School, Cullman Regional (then Cullman Medical Center), Holly Pond School for raising the most money, and McGriff Industries, who had the top individual fundraiser (Cynthia Mathney). Sponsors were Lee Company, Alabama Feed Products, American Airlines, Cullman Parks and Recreation, Woodland Community Hospital, Paul Kassouf & Co., Oneita, Cullman Medical Center and FCF Enterprises.
Cullman County’s 2018 Relay For Life event is themed “In it to Win It: The Fight Against Cancer is Not a Game!” Participating teams are encouraged to create their own themes based on games to use for their fundraising, team t-shirts and tent site decorations. Returning teams and new teams who want to learn more about Relay For Life are welcome to attend the kickoff event and all future meetings.
Meetings will be held at 5:30 p.m., in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church of Cullman. Meeting dates are Jan. 11, Feb. 8, March 8, April 5, April 19, and May 3. A Survivors’ Breakfast will be held at 7 a.m., Wednesday, May 2 at Cullman Church of Christ.
Teams can register to participate in Relay For Life of Cullman County at www.relayforlife.org/cullmanal. Area businesses who would like to participate as sponsors can contact Helen Allen at 256-709-4019 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the American Cancer Society and their programs and services, visit www.cancer.org or call 800-227-2345.