Local Relayers found out Thursday they were on the brink of surpassing this year’s fundraising goal of $114,500.
East Wake Relay for Life chair Vickie Curtis told the crowd at a wrap-up event at Wendell Baptist Church that $113,855 had been collected to benefit the American Cancer Society’s research and family support programs. Attendees beamed knowing some significant fundraisers couldn’t make it out to the meeting and had yet to add their contributions to the total.
“All in all, I think our Relay was a big success,” Curtis said, noting the hard deadline on fundraising for the 2014 Relay year is Aug. 31.
Hitting the target is particularly special. This has been the second year the local Relay has done so since a 2009 embezzlement scandal.
The total amount collected has increased over each of the past three years. This year’s take will go down as the greatest since 2008.
Attendees evaluated the pros and cons of the 2014 Relay after food and awards were served at Thursday’s meeting. They listed few downsides, like infrastructure needs. The common theme of the feedback was that everyone seemed happier, livelier and more interactive at the main event in May.
Knight Walkers team captain Sheila Prosser said it was a feeling of family that made the event a special one.
“Everybody knows everybody and if you don’t know somebody, you make an effort to find out,” Prosser said. “That’s what makes us unique as East Wake Relay for Life.”
Team leaders attributed some of the success to the informational collages on different types of cancer that were on display at nearly every booth. It was the first year the teams took the collages on as a project.
“We don’t just sit on one fence,” Curtis said. “We encompass the corral.”
The Relayers were also pleased with the final activity at the 2014 event – the process of clearing the field behind Five County Stadium. Several remarked that they looked away and as soon as they turned back around nearly all the clutter was gone. Others said putting the Relay to rest was as special as getting it started.
“For the people who haven’t stayed throughout the clean-up and everything, that’s pretty exciting,” Relay committee member Linda Godwin encouraged the crowd. “Think about it next year.”
Curtis and co-chair Connie Gay used the wrap-up event to recognize committee personnel and top individual fundraisers.
Twenty-eight participants were named grand club members for raising more than $1,000. Gay paced that pack, personally raising $6,841.