(T-G file photo by Mitchell Petty)
The American Cancer Society funds cancer research, promotes education on how to prevent cancer, advocates for legislation on issues like smoking, health screenings and childhood obesity, and provides patient services such as the Hope Lodge in Nashville and the "Look Good, Feel Better" program for women in cancer treatment.
Relay For Life is the cancer society's community-based fund-raising program. Although the relay itself is a once-a-year event, fund-raising takes place year-round, as relay teams hold their own team and individual fund-raisers. The earlier teams get started, say Relay officials, the more they can raise.
Teams can be formed by a business, church, club, school or simply a group of friends.
Bedford County Relay teams have conducted fund-raisers such as T-shirt sales, a tongue-in-cheek cross-dressing "beauty pageant," and more. In addition, the Relay For Life county organizing committee sponsors fund-raisers such as a celebrity waiter luncheon and the annual "Hee Haw & Howdy" revue.
The 2013 Relay will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 31, and conclude at noon on Saturday, June 1, at Bedford County Agriculture and Education Center. During the Relay itself, each team must have at least one walker on the track at any given time. Relay teams also operate concession booths or attractions during the Relay, for the benefit of visitors attending the Relay.
Several Bedford County volunteers attended the annual Relay For Life Mid-South Division Leadership Summit over the weekend at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville. Bedford County volunteers in attendance included local organizing committee chair Rodney Simmons; committee members Dawn Simmons, Judi Burton and John I. Carney; Jennifer Smith and Sharon Wachala of the Write Aways, one of the top-performing local Relay teams.
Samantha Chamblee, past chair of the Bedford County committee, is now chair of the state Relay For Life council and attended the national Relay For Life summit earlier in the year, also at the Opryland Hotel.