Relay For Life, which was started 30 years ago by the American Cancer Society, has been named the world’s largest fundraising event for cancer research, and local Clark County businesses are taking part in this year’s event at Prairie High School on July 14-15.
Relays happen yearly in 27 countries around the world and the event has taken place in Clark County since 1989. Cori Jones, West Region Community Development Manager at the American Cancer Society, shares that every year in Clark County, more than 1,500 people participate in it, whether it is through sponsorship, fundraising or walking/running it.
Corporate sponsorship plays a significant part in the fundraising efforts, making up about 15-20 percent of the total funds that are raised. Jones shares that while there are many businesses that they value that sponsor the event, Vancouver Auto Group has been one that has served as a sponsor since the very beginning in 1989.
“They have also had a Relay For Life team all this time” Jones said. “So, not only have they written a check to support our cause year after year, they have also engaged their staff to dedicate their time to fighting cancer in our community through many different ways, such as selling peanut butter in the dealership, or getting items to raffle off at their campsite the weekend of Relay For Life. This event truly is about being a community that takes up the fight.”
Jon Creedon, president of Vancouver Auto Group, shares that cancer touches all of us at some point in our lives and explains that this is partially why they choose to participate each year.
“We have been a top tier sponsor since the run’s inception and have always fielded a team of 12 people and some years two teams of up to 30 individuals,” Creedon said.
When asked more about the importance of his company’s involvement with Relay For Life, he recommends that others should not hesitate to get on board.
“Organize a team or join one,” he said. “It’s a great event and worth your effort.”
For companies looking to get involved, Relay For Life representatives encourage people to form teams consisting of family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. They can fundraise and participate on the day of the event, sponsor it or both. There is also a silent auction and the American Cancer Society welcomes donations of gift baskets or gift certificates from local area businesses. Funds are used for the organization to help people that are currently battling cancer in addition to educating people about cancer risk and prevention.
For more information about how your business can get involved this year, visit www.clarkcountyrelay.org.