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Relay for Life seeking area donors

By Maria-Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of Clayton County will begin on May 14, but the organization needs donors from the Clayton County community now, according to Lisa Cockerham, mission delivery manager for the American Cancer Society's Peachtree City office, which serves the Clayton area.

Last year, $90,000 was raised by Relay for Life in Clayton County, and the goal is the same this year, Cockerham said. So far, participants have reportedly raised more than $11,000, according to the event's web site. The donations go toward cancer research advocacy, various American Cancer Society programs and college scholarships, Cockerham said.

She said she's optimistic that this year's Relay will reach its goal, because some teams tend to wait until "Bank Night" to turn in the money they've collected through fund-raisers.

Cockerham said "Bank Night," May 11, will be the last day that participating teams will be able to turn in their donations before the event.

Cockerham said teams and individual participants may continue to donate during and after the event.

She said Relay teams will be selling a variety of goods and services during the Relay event, with the proceeds going toward the fund-raising effort.

After the event, individual participants and teams may continue to donate money to Relay for Life of Clayton County until Aug. 31, Cockerham said, by contacting the American Cancer Society in Peachtree City

By donating to Relay for Life, "you are really showing your support, not only for the American Cancer Society, but for people that are struggling or suffering," she said.

Cockerham said scientists conducting cancer research, through grants from the society, have aided cancer patients through countless discoveries.

Cockerham said she is hopeful that more in the local community will join Relay for Life, this year.

As of Monday, 231 individuals had signed up to participate in Relay for Life and its fund-raising efforts, according to the event's web site. Cockerham said she hopes that 455 will sign up by the day of the event.

The Relay for Life of Clayton County event will begin May 14 at 7 p.m., and end on May 15 at 7 a.m., at Southern Crescent Stadium, 6237 Garden Walk Blvd., Riverdale, Cockerham said.

She said Relay teams began to form in mid-January, at the kick-off of the event.

Clayton County had 37 Relay for Life teams as of Monday.

DeAnna Orr is the captain of a 12-member team from Roberta T. Smith Elementary School in Rex. The team of faculty members, by involving the entire school, has raised $1,322, Orr said. She said some of the money was raised through a program that allowed members of the school's faculty to wear jeans on Fridays for a donation of $2.

Orr said a future fund-raising event will involve hat days for students, where they will pay $1 to wear a hat to school.

Orr said she participates in the fund-raising efforts because "I have relatives that have been diagnosed, but are cancer free today, because of the medicine that we have today, as a result of fund-raisers like this."

Ben Cartledge is the captain of the eight-member Cross-Walkers team of the Morrow Presbyterian Church. He said his group has raised $1,700 through one fund-raiser, and has another planned called "Baskets and More." It will take place on April 18 at 12 p.m., at Morrow Presbyterian, located at 6171 Huie Road. His group is asking individuals to bring themed picnic baskets for a silent auction.

"We've had family members that have had cancer, and the church has had people that have struggled with cancer, and we felt this was a way to pool our efforts to combat the disease," he said.

For more information, call the American Cancer Society in Peachtree City at (770) 631-0625, or visit http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=24381&pg=entry.