Archive for Thursday, April 29, 2004

Relay hopes to raise $25,000 for cancer society

April 29, 2004

Kaylin McCrary has been working since February in preparation for this weekend, but it has been the past couple of weeks that she has really stepped up her efforts.

The 11-year-old Baldwin girl has been mailing letters, hanging signs around town and setting out containers in an attempt to raise money for this year's Relay For Life.

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"I know the money I get is going to help somebody," she said.

But Kaylin had hoped to have raised more by this point.

"It's not going as good as I'd like it to, but I'm still getting a little bit of money," she said. "It is going better than last year, though."

Susan Hoffman hopes Kaylin's efforts are matched by all of the other Relay for Life participants so Baldwin can raise more than last year's total of $24,000 for the American Cancer Society.

"I know the economy is making it tough for people to raise money," Hoffman, Relay organizer, said, "but we're hoping to raise $25,000 this year."

Whether Baldwin meets its goal will be known at this weekend's Relay for Life, which begins at 7 p.m. Friday at Liston Stadium. The relay, which raises money for cancer research and awareness for the American Cancer Society, will last throughout the night ending at 7 a.m. Saturday. Hoffman said the relay is open to public, not just members of the teams, and community members are encouraged to attend.

Cancer survivor Brenda Day will kick off Friday's events as opening speaker. Then all cancer survivors will be invited to the track to participate in the first lap -- the survivor's lap -- of the relay. Hoffman said following the survivor's lap, anyone who has taken care of a victim of cancer can walk the second lap of the relay.

Then relay team members will hit the track and continue walking throughout the night. Many of the teams will have their members dressed in costume or with props to match their corresponding themes.

Kaylin said her team, which includes several of her friends, will be dressed as bugs and exterminators to symbolize the fight against cancer.

"We're telling cancer to bug off," she said. "We're exterminating cancer."

Hoffman said there will also be several activities during the early part of the evening, including entertainment by Stacy's Dance Studio and the band, Phat Albert, which is made up of Baker University alumni.

At 9 p.m., luminaries, all marked with names of those who have had cancer, will be lit as the names are read aloud. Cancer survivor Sherrie Wood will also speak during the luminary ceremony.

Team members will continue walking the track throughout the night, Hoffman said, to symbolize the fight against cancer.

"As the night goes on, it starts to quiet down, you get more tired, your feet hurt and you want to quit," she said.

"But cancer patients can't quit," she said. "Cancer isn't just in the daytime. It isn't when you've had a lot of sleep. It's all the time. You've got to fight it until you beat it."

Hoffman said it's not too late for people to contribute to Relay for Life. Any amount can be donated or luminaries can be purchased in honor or in memory of someone with cancer for a $10 donation. Contact Hoffman at 594-4514 to make a contribution.

Kaylin hoped to increase her fundraising total by Friday, because, she said, the more she raised, the more she would be able to help.

"The money is all for the American Cancer Society," she said. "I like the fact that all of the money is going to help someone fight cancer or go to research."

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