For members of fundraising teams, it was a chance to get together, catch up, and plan another year of great events.
For the people who’d never heard of the event, the drop-in held Thursday night at the Hampton Memorial Library was a chance to find out about Relay for Life.
This year’s Pickens County Relay for Life, an annual walk raising money for cancer research, is scheduled to begin at around 6 p.m. May 8.
Teams will have walkers circling the track at Easley High School’s Brice Field until 7 a.m. the following morning.
Each Relay for Life begins with a survivors lap, where survivors take the track to show the audience that they’re still fighting for a cure, followed by a caretakers lap which illustrates that no cancer patient fights alone.
To pump up the walkers, the event will feature music, entertainment and food.
There’s still plenty of time to start a Relay for Life team and begin fundraising, said Pickens County Relay for Life chairwoman Cindy Wise.
“We appreciate all the help we can get,” she said. “As a survivor, we appreciate everything that everyone does to help to fight cancer. We appreciate the support that everyone gives us.”
This year’s fundraising goal is $92,000.
Wise estimates that this year’s event will feature about 30 teams.
In the weeks heading up to Relay for Life, teams from around Pickens County will be holding fundraiser events with all proceeds going towards the search for a cure.
“I don’t think that there’s anybody that can say they don’t know someone who has cancer, or a family member or acquaintance that has battled cancer, and may have lost their battle,” said Libby Wright, communications manager with the American Cancer Society. “It’s something personal that affects everybody and we want to find a cure.”
The ACS has been working for many years to find a cure for cancer, and also provide support for those battling cancer.
“We’re working with cancer patients, helping them get information about resources available to them, just to get them through their cancer journey,” Wright said. “We’re right here in the community and we’re working to find a cure as well.”
The ACS partners with the Best Chance Network, a network that assists low-income or uninsured women find doctors and hospitals to give them free mammogram screenings and follow-up visits.
“We help low-income women find that opportunity,” Wright said.
The society also offers support and mentoring program for women, and offer cancer patients wigs, prostheses and turbans.
“Just all kinds of things,” she said.
Even in tough economic times, volunteers and those who donate are keeping Relay for Life in mind, Wright said.
“The passion of our volunteers, I think, overrides anything that the economy throws at us,” she said.
Still, ACS officials are mindful of the economy’s effects on people’s wallets.
“We’re thinking along the lines of getting a little bit of money from a lot of people instead of getting a lot of money from some people,” Wright said. “We’re trying to do a lot of thinking outside the box. We’re trying to get creative with our fundraising.
“The support has always been there,” she said. “We’re just counting on the community.”
For more information about the American Cancer Society, including programs available to cancer patients, call 1-800-ACS-2345.
For more information on Pickens County’s Relay for Life, or to donate directly, visit www.relayforlife.org /pickenssc.