The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Cullman County will kick off the 2016 fundraising season on Thursday, Jan. 21, in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church of Cullman. The Kickoff Celebration will be held at 5:30 p.m., and will include award presentations for 2015 teams and sponsors, information about the upcoming year and a special message from an ACS Hero of Hope.
“We just completed our holiday celebrations and many of us celebrated without a loved who was taken from us too soon by cancer,” said Helen Allen, a 22-year volunteer with Relay For Life of Cullman County. “But we were also blessed to have with us many who have survived thanks to the efforts of the American Cancer Society in research, prevention, education and early detection.
“That is why support of Relay For Life of Cullman County is so important,” she added. “The American Cancer Society has made great strides for more than 65 years in cancer research. Through research we know we can prevent some types of cancer. We know we can reduce our risks by making healthy choices. We know how important early detection is to increase survival rates and reduce and in some cases eliminate the need for treatment.
“But more research is still needed to find cures and improve treatments,” Allen said. “Without that research, more people will be in need for not only medical treatments, but social services since cancer affects more than their body. It affects their home, their jobs, their finances, everything.
“I don’t know if I’ll live to see the day that cancer is cured, but I have hope that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will,” Allen said.
The volunteer Relay For Life of Cullman County committee is hoping to have at least 50 teams collect more than $150,000 for the American Cancer Society in 2016. More than 20 teams have signed up so far and more than $13,000 has been raised to date. Sponsors who have already committed funds for the year include Apel Steel, Alabama Air Solutions and Signature Smiles of Cullman.
Teams can be organized by anyone and are often made up of family members, co-workers, churches, schools and other groups and organizations. Teams are asked to raise at least $100 for each person registered on their team. Though groups are encouraged to celebrate their achievements by setting up a tent site at the May 6 event at the Cullman County Fairgrounds, but they are not required to do so.
Relay For Life has several options for fundraisers that require no upfront cost by team members, including the sale of luminaria, torches of hope, Relay For Life quilt tickets and more Relay-wide events will be announced at a later date.
Relay For Life of Cullman County is the only organization in Cullman County that raises funds specifically for the American Cancer Society to help find a cure for cancer and provide support for cancer patients and their families through numerous programs and services.
For more information about Relay For Life of Cullman County or to register a team, visit www.relayforlife.org/cullmanal or contact Helen Allen at 256-709-4019 or email@example.com or Haley Marecle at 256-531-4010 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Relay For Life of Cullman County on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RFLCullmanAL or on Twitter at @RelayCullman.