By NATHAN GREGORY
Funds raised from the 2012 Oktibbeha County Relay for Life eclipsed the $100,000 mark for the first time.
Relay for Life celebrates cancer survivors and raises awareness about the disease. Relay co-chair Barbara Foster said this year’s installment raised $102,000 with more donations still coming in. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society for research, education and advocacy programs.
This year’s total out gained the amount raised in 2011 by more than $25,000. More than $76,000 was raised last year. Prior to this year’s relay, teams had already raised more than $57,000.
Foster said she is grateful to see the increased participation in and support for the relay each year it is held. She said having more money to provide to ACS means the organization has more to devote toward education, which can help in getting possible victims to recognize warning signs of cancer more quickly.
“(The funds) go for education, research, scientists — just all aspects of everything cancer touches,” Foster said. “Educating people on cancer as far as early detection (is important) because more and more lives are getting saved every day.”
She said in order to raise the bar each year more participation is needed.
“It’s just a matter of getting more and more people involved and getting everybody you know affected by this terrible disease, whether it be family members or friends,” she said. “When I got involved, my sister had breast cancer. I felt like I had to do something. I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing. This is a great avenue for me to participate, get involved and raise money because each dollar I raise makes me feel like I’m that much closer to a cure.”
Though this year’s event has concluded, Foster said she’s already looking forward to the next Relay for Life.
“We’re looking forward to preparing for next year. We’re anxiously awaiting to start planning,” she said. “Hopefully it will be bigger and better.”