Archived Story

Relay team honors beefed up

Published 8:58pm Saturday, May 10, 2014

Scharlese Hicks and her family know just how helpful the American Cancer Society can be in a time of need.

Her sister, Renee, was dying of cancer four years ago and had lost her job — and insurance — after the extended absence from work.

After moving her to Virginia, the family contacted the American Cancer Society to see what could be done.

“They made sure we had the best care for her,” said Hicks, herself a survivor of cancer for 23 years now. “I don’t know how we would have done it without them.”

Hicks and her family now have their own Relay For Life team, Renee’s Angels, and Hicks is the Team Recognition chair for Suffolk’s Relay.

After receiving feedback about recognizing all teams — not just the ones who raise the most money — Hicks is going all out this year to make sure everyone is honored for their efforts.

“When people don’t get acknowledged, it turns them off,” Hicks said. “I want to keep people coming, because every little bit makes a difference.”

She said her family is sponsoring fun trophies to be given to a variety of teams, including the ones with the most team spirit, the most members who stay overnight, the team with the youngest person who stays all night, the team that does the most with the fewest members and more.

“I’m going to try to tap every area,” she said. “It’s just letting people know that we’re appreciative of all that they do. A lot of times, the smaller teams are the ones that do a lot of the work.”

In addition, Chick-fil-A Harbour View is awarding a block party to the team with the most members, regardless of how much money it raises.

“It’s the little tiny things,” Hicks said. “They are acknowledged, they are loved, and we’re so appreciative. I want them to come back and make it bigger and bigger and bigger.”

The Suffolk Relay For Life is set for next weekend, May 16-17, at Bennett’s Creek Park.

For more information, visit www.relayforlife.org/suffolkva.

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