Vickie Curtis is happy. And a little bit anxious.
The East Wake Relay for Life chairwoman announced last week the final fundraising totals for the 2014 year. Twenty-two teams and 643 participants amassed a total of $116,063 to benefit the American Cancer Society’s research and family support programs, easily surpassing their goal of $114,500.
It was the most lucrative Relay of the past six years and the tally was about $5,500 more than the second-greatest fundraising effort in that time – $110,467 raised in 2009. That success is likely to trigger a new challenge in the form of an increased fundraising target from the American Cancer Society for the 2015 Relay.
“I’m just blown away the way the eastern Wake area responded in such a positive way in helping push us far beyond our goal,” Curtis said. “Any time you surpass your goal, it sets the bar higher for the following year, and as we set that new bar for the coming year we are anxious and excited.
“With that, we trust that the same caring, outpouring and love for our survivors and caregivers and the continuing fight to beat this dreadful disease will again be supportive in an extremely positive manner through corporate sponsors and giving to Relay for Life by the eastern Wake area.”
Relay co-chair Connie Gay, who helped her PACEr’s team set the pace in fundraising, said her top individual collection total of $6,881 was the result of a challenge and determination.
She said the same was true this year for the entire East Wake Relay effort, which was particularly energetic and witnessed a heightened sense of family.
“We had a few new teams and just them getting involved helped, but the longer they’re in it, the more motivated they are,” Gay said. “If you met a goal this year, the next year you want to exceed that goal.
“It’s more eager participation. And it helps motivate people to work even harder when it’s personal.”
Curtis, Gay and ACS representative Nikki Hastings met with Carolina Mudcats Assistant General Manager Eric Gardner and Zebulon Public Works Director Chris Ray last week to recognize the roles the town and baseball organization play in making the local Relay possible.
The group reminisced about some of the highlights from the past seven years that Relay has called Five County Stadium home, and appropriately shared updates on current battles with the disease they are familiar with.
The stories from the Relay bigwigs were no different than those told in living rooms or over phone conversations between family members and friends.
“Regretfully, cancer has no boundaries of race, gender, sex or age,” Curtis said. “We hear of stories where infants are diagnosed, the elderly and every age in between and across the area. It’s not specific. It affects whoever, whenever.”
East Wake Relay for Life leaders will soon begin reaching out to its past corporate sponsors for their continued support for the 2015 year. New corporate sponsors and new teams are always wanted.
To get involved, contact Curtis at 919-366-0517 or firstname.lastname@example.org@nc.rr.com.