Lowndes County kicks off 2014 Relay for Life planning

Published 6:01 pm Thursday, November 21, 2013

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
“Dream Big, Hope Big, Relay Big, Mari Gras Style.”

That will be the theme for the 2014 Lowndes County Relay for Life at the Russell Baseball Complex in Hayneville set for April 25, 2014 when Lowndes County participants will attempt to reach a goal of $40,000 for the American Cancer Society. The 2014 event will begin at 6 p.m. with a survivor’s lap as it does nationwide, “said Bridget Mills, the AMS representative for Lowndes County.

A kickoff meeting for the 2014 Relay for Life was held Tuesday at the Senior Center in Hayneville.

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Mills said last year the Lowndes County Relay for Life celebrated 50 lives saved. This year, she said, the goral is to celebrate 75 lives. “We know the survivors are here and get them more engaged with Relay and the celebration.”
Mills said least year the Lowndes County Relay for Life had a goal of $37,000 but raised $40,000. She said they do not want to go backwards this year.
She also said, “We want to have at least 20 teams” which is two more than last year.
Mills said Zandra Colston will be the contract person for those wanting to field teams this year at 334-315-0962 or herself at 334-590-5067 or the website at www.relayforlife.org/lowndesal.
Mills said when she began representing Lowndes County, the Relay goal was $18,000 and in three years, the goal has more than doubled. “The momentum is growing every year. The spirit is here. We’ve seen an increase in the number of patients we’ve been able to help through programs and services the American Cancer Society offers. And that is definitely indicative of the fact that we are in the community and we’re not only raising money but we’re educating them on those programs and services.”
She said there has been an influx of patients staying at the Hope Lodge. “We’re excited about that too… not just the dollars but that we’re reaching more people here in Lowndes County and encouraging them to reach out to our 1-800 number and request that literature so they can better understand their diagnosis and side effects of that.”
She said doctors treat the illness but not the side effects and mental and psychological things that cancer patients go through.
Colston said she is exciting and looking for new teams and people.
Colston is event chairman this year.
Others involved in this year’s event include Jerome McQueen, entertainment chairman; Susie Smith, logistics; Callie Griffin, volunteers; Laura Gresham, sponsorship; Dorothy butler, survivorship; Floretta Timmon, advocacy; Barbara Williams, accounting; and both Eddie Henson and Mrs. Eddie Louise Green, hospitality.
Gresham spoke out this year during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which was observed in October.
She is a five-year survivor who says the annual Relay means a lot to her because more people are surviving cancer and it gives her a chance to remember her mother, Martha London, who died of cancer.
Gresham said the American Cancer Society provides transportation vouchers, wigs, program and grants to help get medicine to those suffering from cancer. “Since I learned that knowledge from having cancer I pass it along.”
She said the American Cancer Society gives lots of support to cancer patients and she was provided counseling.