Relay ends its year

Published 10:48 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Five teams came out to put the last 61,280 pennies into the Relay for Life’s piggy bank.

The Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life ended its 2010 fiscal year on Aug. 31 with $199,746.12 in the bank.

“People were there raising money up until the very end,” said Anne Barclay, the Relay’s American Cancer Society community manager. “Everyone has worked really, really hard to make this year what it has been.”

Though the Relay fell short of its $212,000 goal this year, it grew in many capacities.

Thousands of people came out the day of the event, which drew 20 new teams this year.

“We’ve had a great year,” Barclay said. “We increased what we brought in last year, had more teams, participants and survivors. That’s growth, and growth is good.”

As it did this year, the Relay will have a strong start in 2011 with a $16,000 matching grant from Unilever Lipton for previous years’ efforts by the Lipton team.

Barclay said there also are some exciting changes on the horizon.

“We’re going to continue to keep doing what we’ve been doing by reaching farther out into the community,” Barclay said. “We want to get local schools involved and the African-American community more involved. As a patient navigator, I saw the need for early detection and awareness.”

In the mean time, Barclay said, it’s important to remember that fighting cancer isn’t limited to one day or a few months.

“Every dollar we raise goes to help fight cancer,” Barclay said. “As much as we want to raise as much as possible, we have to stay focused on the fact that it’s another dollar raised to help fight cancer — and that’s not a fight that ends with the end of a fiscal year.”

The American Cancer Society has volunteer positions that need filling, from driving people to appointments to talking with them about programs ACS offers.

“We have to stay focused on the real picture,” Barclay said. “The need to fight never stops. It never stops.”

To learn about volunteer opportunities, contact Barclay at 493-7940.