Relay for Life plans under way

(Jan. 25, 2013) Relay For Life of North Worcester County officially kicked off its fundraising efforts Jan. 16, at the Route 50 Diner inside the Francis Scott Key Family Resort in West Ocean City.

Approximately 55 people attended the first of a handful of meetings to discuss and organize the 2013 Relay event, scheduled to take place May 10-11, at Frontier Town Campground, in West Ocean City. The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is an annual all-night walk and gathering that brings together hundreds — if not thousands — of supporters to celebrate survivorship, remember loved ones who lost their battle with cancer and those currently fighting the disease.

During the 12-hour local fundraiser, members of each team will take turns walking laps around the campground track. Hundreds of walkers are expected participate, helping to raise money for cancer research, awareness, advocacy, patient services and educational programs in the area.

The theme for the Jan. 16 meeting was “Happy Birthday Sweet 16 Party,” as this year marks the 16th annual North Worcester County Relay For Life.

Guests to the 1950s-style diner were encouraged to wear party hats and dress in era-appropriate attire.

North Worcester County Relay For Life chairwomen Dawn Hodge and Jill Elliott were presented with a banner by Theresa Young, the American Cancer Society’s state vice president for Delmarva, indicating the local community per capita amount of $3.66.

The $3.66 was calculated by taking the money raised during last year’s Relay For Life ($140,000 net) and dividing it by the population/people who live in Worcester County. So, if every person who lives Worcester County donated $3.66, that would equal the total amount raised during the 2012 Relay For Life.

“That’s a ton of money. It’s a very high per capita,” Hodge said.

Young also presented the two with an award for incorporating the “education, advocacy, research and patience services” mission into all the North Worcester County’s meetings, events and other activities. The local group is a member of the South Atlantic Division, which stretches from Delaware to Georgia.

North Worcester County Relay has one of the largest groups of “Grand Club” members on Delmarva, which, according to Debbie White, community manager of the ACS South Atlantic Division, has 24 similar participant-sized Relays. The region is noted for having 33 individuals who raised $1,000 or more during the 2012 Relay For Life.

This year’s local Relay for Life theme is “Heroes of Hope … We Save Lives … Every Cancer, Every Community, Every Day.”

As of Tuesday, 25 teams (approximately 111 people) had signed up to participate and more than $19,800 in donations has been collected.

Hodge said this year’s goal is to have 60 teams and 125 survivors participate, and to generate $150,000. In 2012, 51 teams participated (approximately 400 people), including 108 survivors, in the North Worcester County Relay For Life.

The next meeting is set for Feb. 7, 6:30-7:30 p.m., at the Ocean Pines library. The theme of the meeting is “Send a card to a friend day.” Bring a new Relay friend and win a prize.

For more information, contact Hodge at 443-497-1198 or dawnhodge@comcast.net, or Elliott at 410-430-8131 or chilly@dmv.com; visit www.relayforlife.org/northworcestermd; or search “Relay For Life North Worcester County Maryland” on Facebook.

For more information, visit www.cancer.org or call 800-ACS-2345.

Relay For Life of North Worcester County kicked off its fundraising efforts on Jan. 16, at the Route 50 Diner in West Ocean City. Approximately 55 people attend the celebration.

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