ACS prepares for 2006 relay
Relay for Life 2005 receives two regional awards, special recognition

Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Jan. 4, 2006 - Local efforts to raise funds for the American Cancer Society through the 2005 Relay for Life earned state and regional honors for Hopkins County.

Mynder Nash was recognized for the outstanding job she did recruiting cancer survivors for participation in last year’s Sulphur Springs/Hopkins County relay event. Local relay chairperson Carolyn McKinney was also asked to conduct a round table discussion on survivor recruitment at the 2005 American Cancer Society Relay for Life State Training Conference held recently in Austin.

At the Regional Committee Training Conference in Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs/Hopkins County relay committee members were also presented with an award for placing second per capita in Region 6 and an award for having the third most money raised, while the local relay committee received recognition for having the most teams and the highest number of survivors in the region.

Sulphur Springs/Hopkins County had a 4.34 per capita in 2005, up from 3.15 in 2004. Red River County finished ahead of Sulphur Springs/Hopkins County with a 4.48 per capital.

Sulphur Springs/Hopkins County raised a gross total of $150,628.58, and had a net total of $142,018.08, well above the 2005 goal of $125,000. North and South Gregg Counties, which includes both Longview and Kilgore, and Smith County which includes Tyler took first and second place for most money raised in Region 6 which includes 24 counties.

McKinney and committee member Cindy Smith credited the whole community “for their part in this great achievement.” they noted that last year’s success were due to the countless hours put in by committee members, teams giving “above 100 percent of their time and talents” to raise the funds, the generous unselfish giving of sponsors and underwriters.

�Everyone coming together for a great cause made it happen. Because of everyone�s efforts, American Cancer Society will continue the research need in finding a cure for cancer. And also, through the money raised we can help achieve the American Cancer Society�s mission,� she said referring to the ACS�s purpose as a nation-wide community-based, voluntary health organization to help eliminate cancer, save lives and diminish suffering from� through research, education advocacy and service.

The Relay For Life  helps provide money to help ACS continue the research needed to find a cure for cancer, while representing “the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day, cancer will be eliminated.”

While the awards from last year’s event are nice reinforcements, the true reward for the ACS Relay committee members who work year round to foster the event is the knowledge the funds raised from the Relay for Life will be used to help fund research which hopefully one day will lead to a cure for cancer.

The 2006 Sulphur Springs/Hopkins County ACS Relay for Life is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Friday, April 28, and continue until 7 a.m. Saturday April 29. This year’s committee members have been meeting since August, planning for the upcoming relay event. The goal this year is to surpass the achievements of 2005 by raising at least $145,000. Committee members also hope to have 55 adult teams, 15 youth teams and 300 cancer survivors present at this year’s event, as well as have 900 luminaries in memory of cancer victims or honor of survivors.

The Sulphur Springs/Hopkins County ACS Relay for Life Committee will be holding a rally Friday, Jan. 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the downtown square. Anyone interested in putting a team together or attaining information regarding the relay event are encouraged to stop by the Relay for Life tent. Cookies, hot chocolate and cold drinks will be served and some some free ACS beverage holders available. 

As an added incentive for signing up Friday, that name will be entered for a prize drawing to be conducted at the first team captain luncheon which will be held Feb. 16.

For further information about the Relay for Life event, contact Carolyn McKinney at 903-885-9740 or 903-439-5484.

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