Relay successful because of Suffolk

Published 9:52 pm Monday, May 20, 2013

By Angela Francis

As the community manager of this year’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Suffolk, I would like to thank residents of Suffolk for their generosity and support. Seventy-eight teams participated in this year’s event and raised more than $185,000 to date (and will continue fundraising through August) to help the society’s fight for every birthday, threatened by every cancer, here and throughout the world.

This outstanding show of support proves the people of Suffolk stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the American Cancer Society to achieve its mission of saving lives by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.

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We were honored to be joined by approximately 150 survivors who walked the opening Survivors’ Lap, officially kicking off this year’s event. These survivors are the reason we continue the fight. Their participation inspires hope in those currently battling cancer.

A special thanks to the many Relay For Life volunteers who worked to make this event a success — celebrating the lives of those who have battled cancer, remembering loved ones lost and pledging to fight back against the disease.

The Relay For Life committee did an outstanding job of putting the event together. Committee members include: event Co-Chairs Ginny Lee Melton and Heather Howell; luminaria, Tayloe Brooks; children’s activities, Catherine Williams and the Lakeland Cavznation; school recruitment, Renee Russell; entertainment, Charlie King; logistics, Melissa Bowman; survivorship, Lucille Spivey and Sandy Peterson; registration, Janet Bartley; accounting, Kim Skeeter, Lisa Stalsworth and Erica Russell; team retention, Lisa Bagley; sponsorship, Nicole McGowan, Bonnie Maki and Mitzi McKoy; and advocacy, Teri Howell.

Finally, a special thank you to Tracy Agnew with the Suffolk News-Herald for her wonderful series of articles leading up to Relay For Life.

We also appreciate the generosity of this year’s corporate sponsors. The Relay For Life would not be possible without them. Our three Hope Sponsors were the City of Suffolk, the Suffolk News-Herald and The Nansemond River Pilot Club. Our Purple Sponsor was Starr Motors. Our Diamond Sponsor was Spivey Rentals & Safety Inc. Our Platinum Sponsor was Maersk Line Ltd. Our Gold Sponsors were A.D. Stowe Inc., APM Terminals, Kohl’s, Obici Healthcare Foundation, Sentara, Suffolk Peanut Festival and R.W. Baker & Company Funeral Home and Crematory. Our other corporate sponsors include Allfirst LLC, Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy, Carts Unlimited, Cherry Bekaert LLP, Chick-Fil-A, Chuckatuck Ruritan Club, Conley Storage, D.B. Bowles Jewelers, Donations In Memory of Sylvia Bilby, Duke Automotive, Dr. David A. Lotz, Optometrist, East West Communities, Farmers Bank, Grafik Trenz, Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront, Lancaster Farms, Lakeview Medical Center, Lockheed Martin, Mike Duman Auto Sales, Ricky and Roy’s Catering, Renaissance Pediatrics P.C., Sasser Construction, Sentara Obici Medical Staff, Sysco, and Tiger Martial Arts Academy.

You may get involved with Relay For Life at any time. Check out RelayForLife.org or call 1-800-227-2345 for more information.

Angela Francis is the Suffolk and Portsmouth community manager for the American Cancer Society. Email her at angela.francis@cancer.org.