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Ronda Rakes is aiming for success with this year’s Relay For Life of Stephens County campaign.
Rakes is the 2012-13 event chairwoman. When she met with team captains Thursday, Rakes told the captains she is planning to make this year’s campaign and fundraising more successful than last year. This year’s event is set for June 7, 2013, with a monetary goal of $135,000. It’s an increase of $3,000 above last year’s total fundraising amount of $132,000. Additionally, Rakes wants to increase the number of teams, the number of survivors who participate and the amount of money raised in sponsorships.
“We’re looking forward to a really exciting Relay for 2013,” Rakes said. “We hope we can be the ambassadors of the Relay so people know what Relay is about.”
Relay For Life is a fundraiser of the American Cancer Society. The majority of the money raised by the local organization stays in Stephens County and goes toward cancer research, helping to get cancer patients to treatments and various other cancer-research related items.
Rakes said one of her main goals is to better inform the public about what Relay For Life is and what it does. Rakes, who is a cancer survivor, said Relay For Life has a tremendous impact on those impacted in somewhat by cancer.
She said her reason to Relay is to help find a cure for cancer, which will help people to celebrate more birthdays and will decrease the difficult choices related to cancer.
“I never want a parent to go through what my parents did when I was 13,” she said.
This year’s theme is “Hope Big. Dream Big. Relay Big.” In the coming year, the American Cancer Society will celebrate it’s 100th anniversary.
For the anniversary and the theme, Rakes wants to see more. More money raised. More teams involved. More cancer survivors honored. More luminaries in honor of survivors and in remembrance of those who lost the battle.
“Why not?” Rakes said. “Why not more?”
Thursday’s meeting as gave team captains an opportunity to meet the new ASC staffer, Lyndse Tatum. Tatum has been involved in Relay For Life for five years, but this is her first year as a staffer.
She said this year’s Relay will have more communication between the American Cancer Society, the Relay For Life of Stephens County, the team captains and the community.
“We’re really focusing on making sure everyone knows what’s going on,” Tatum said.
Since its introduction to the Stephens County area, the Relay For Life of Stephens County has raised more than $1 million.
“Our Relay is a success because we have great teams,” Rakes said.