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Relay for Life begins organizing for 2009

Relay for Life for Marengo County held its first captains’ meeting on Tuesday at the Demopolis Public Library.

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature fund-raising event, bringing together 3.5 million people every year. Although it is a national campaign, it is individualized to each community in how it raises money to help fund cancer research.

It also pays homage to those who are victims of the disease and those who have survived it through luminaries — candle-lit bags featuring the name of a loved one who died from or who survived cancer that are purchased for a small price, also to benefit cancer research. Luminary forms will be available soon.

Relays for Life have themes that teams made up of community memebrs are asked to follow to make it a more fun event and to lend more of a community spirit. The themes are followed by the teams in their specific areas at the event, which will be Friday, April 24, in Demopolis from 6 p.m. to midnight at the River Field.

Team captains in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting voted on “The Cancer-Free Network” as the theme for this year’s event, with teams using TV shows in the network’s “lineup” as the running theme. For example, teams could have a “General Hospital” theme and dress as doctors and nurses at this year’s Relay for Life, or they could be more creative and have the theme “I Love Lucy (But I Hate Cancer)” or “Show Cancer Who’s the Boss.”

The goal this year is to have 21 teams and to raise $85,845. Last year, there were 16 official teams and three unofficial teams, which combined to raise $82,000.

Relay for Life for Marengo County will have captains’ meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Demopolis Public Library, with the next meeting coming on Feb. 10.

Those who would like to participate in Relay for Life should organize a team of any size and raise funds in the days leading up to the April 24 event. Teams have held bake sales, recycled cans, held car washes and had other creative ideas to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Teams need to register through the Web site www.relayforlife.org/marengo.

For more information, contact the American Cancer Society toll-free at 1 800 ACS-2345, which is 1 800 227-2345.