This year marks the 100th birthday of the American Cancer Society.
One of the reoccurring goals of the ACS and its flagship fundraising effort, Relay for Life, is to create a world with more birthdays.
So, it was fitting when 2013 Relay for Life of Barton County Chairperson Sheri Elsen announced the theme for the local event. “We are going to have one huge birthday party,” she told those gathered for the kick-off event Saturday morning at the Great Bend Knights of Columbus Hall.
The money-raising target is $130,000, up from $126,000 in 2012. But, more than that, “we want to have more people involved” on the committee, as teams and as volunteers, Elsen said.
Relay Team Development Chair Kandi Wolf then recapped the 2012 campaign. “Last year, after expenses, we raised over $130,000. That was way over our goal.”
The total gave Barton County first place per capita for similarly sized relays in Kansas and second place in the ACS’s High Plains Division, which covers Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Nebraska, Hawaii and Guam.
The top teams for the 2012 relay were: First place, CPI Qualified Plan Consultants with over $20,000; second place, Benefit Management Inc. with over $15,000; and third place, Zimmerman Family and Friends with over $8,000.
The money raised is important, said Advocacy Chair Linn Hogg, who encouraged those attending to join the ACS’s lobbying effort known as the Cancer Action Network. “Eighty percent of the money raised (through relays) goes to research and programs,” she said.
Included are funds that go to researchers at the University of Kansas and to services to cancer patients, many of whom live in Barton County. According to the ACS, in the year ending Aug. 31, 2012, 159 county residents utilized 486 ACS services, ranging from help with travel and lodging to access to information and health/cosmetic advise.
For more information on the Barton County relay, contact Elsen at 620-786-1502, or visit the event’s Facebook page.