Marengo relay gains ground

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 13, 2007

As the new community representative for the Marengo County Relay for Life region, what are your responsibilities for the fund raising efforts?

I cover four different relays. Marengo County is one of those. I help to develop relationships with the community. I help to fund raise for the American Cancer Society so we are able to have a full relay.

What is the Relay for Life program?

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The relay is a way to publicly recognize survivors (of cancer). It is a way to remember the lost ones who have lost the battle to cancer as well. We do special events for survivors, special give-aways, and we have a tent that caters to them. We have luminaries, which are candles in bags, that are lit for those people who have lost their battle. It is a good time to support each other, have a good time, realize that there are people who need support out there and the American Cancer Society is doing what it can to help educate people out there about cancer.

How has Marengo County done in the past years with their relays?

They have been doing very well. They have met and exceeded goals. Marengo is a county that usually doesn’t surprise you at the end, where they all bring their money in at once. They are pretty good about, especially Peggy Dunkley, constantly keeping up with team captains making sure they’re doing fund-raising opportunities and getting their money in. They are a good team about getting money in consistently. They don’t have any big surprises, where they are missing money down the stretch.

Due to this being your first time to run the relay event, how would you describe the experience thus far?

It has been very enjoyable and hectic all at the same time. It has been interesting to hear the different cancer stories from individuals, especially since cancer has been, though I have not personally had it, prevalent in my family. Five or six people in my family that have definitely touched my life in a special way have had cancer. It is great to work with people that are dedicated to work for a good cause, to raise support both financially and emotionally as well. It has been a good time. I have really enjoyed it.

How do the Marengo County teams perform, as far as meeting goals they have set for themselves and progressing to the culmination &045;the actual relay?

Marengo County, like I have said, usually does pretty well meeting their goals, For example let’s say the goal last year was $46,000 and they made $50,000, we would raise it to $55,000 or $60,000. They continue to increase, and I think awareness is increasing as well. The breadth of the relay is as well, more teams are joining on, they are raising more money and the relay is just getting bigger. That is one of our goals, that more people are aware of the Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society and the services they provide for Marengo County.

Though it might not be one of the most popular counties, how does Marengo County’s goals compete with a large county such as Tuscaloosa?

Actually, Demopolis is the second largest city in our area. They do very well. There are counties that fluctuate when they lose a chairman or their committee leaves, or comes and goes, or someone moves away. Marengo County is pretty constant. They are consistent and they seem to grow, and they are doing very well. They meet and exceed their goals and a lot of counties cannot say the same thing. Marengo County is one of the stronger Counties, especially in my area.

In 2005, we reached $60,000 and last year the goal was $62,000, and we just reached that with $62,500. This year our goal is $63,950. We are right now at about 25 percent of that.

How long do you take donations, is it right up to the day of the relay?

You can actually still send in checks afterwards, but we try to get all of our checks in before the relay. We have a bank night prior to the relay, which will be Thursday, May 10. That is when we try to get our money in and get the largest portion of all of our donations. The teams try to turn in all of our stuff by then.