Carter County’s Relay for Life teams have worked together for years to raise awareness and needed funds for research and services for cancer patients.
This year was no different, despite extra hurdles thrown their way. Some teams were unable to participate or contribute as much as they had in previous years. Kelly Fryer, part of the leadership for the organization locally, said several teams had catastrophic events happen to their members. She herself lost a nephew the day before the major Relay event. Despite the hardships, Fryer said the outcome was amazing.
“Every team had an increase,” Fryer said. “Dollar General’s team had a $10,000 increase alone. Many teams were able to raise more than they ever have.”
Fryer said their success is largely due to community efforts to do three things: Get people to feel something that moves them to action, connecting to the higher mission, and emphasizing progress. The funding raised goes toward many things, from researching a cure to end cancer to transporting patients to treatment and providing access to wigs and other aids.
Fryer said the community involvement was what enabled the teams and individual donors to raise $76,185.
“I’m so proud of that,” Fryer said. “To have contributed so much in a short period of time with fewer people than usual is an accomplishment. We triumphed in a way I could not have foreseen.”
Fryer said their mission is to stay passionate and lead the fight to a world without cancer.
“When I first started doing this, I thought you could only raise small money in a small town,” Fryer said. “But when we get to the top of the mountain, we don’t stop, we are looking for the next mountain to climb.”
While this year’s major Relay event has passed, there are still opportunities to get involved. Next year’s campaign websites have already rolled out. Locally, Robbie’s Chase, an annual 5K event is scheduled for October 13. Registration for the event, which benefits the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life Ardmore, is open now. The event will be held at 8 a.m. on October 13, in Ardmore’s historic downtown. Proceeds also benefit the Robbie Brooks Memorial Scholarship. Registration is $20 for the walk and $30 for the run, with prices set to increase September 14. More information is available at https://www.facebook.com/RobbiesChase/.