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American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is the "nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service." The Society is organized into 14 geographical divisions of both medical and lay volunteers operating in more than 3,400 offices throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The National Home Office is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Fact: Cancer is the leading cause of death among working-age adults.

Fact: Nearly 50 percent of all cancer deaths could be prevented with everyday lifestyle changes.

Each year BRMEMC participates in helping raise money for the American Cancer Society.

American Cancer Society Relay for Life

Here's how your involvement helps!

Relay for Life

Every year Blue Ridge Mountain EMC participates in the nationwide Relay for Life. At events in 4,800 communities nationwide, teams of families, friends and coworkers join together to CELEBRATE the lives of those who have battled cancer, REMEMBER those lost and FIGHT BACK against a disease that takes too much.

One day. One night. One community: By participating in an American Cancer Society Relay For Life® event near you, you honor cancer survivors, pay tribute to the lives lost to the disease, and raise money to help fight it – all right in your community.

Much more than a walk around a track, Relay is a time to celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember those lost and get inspired to fight back. Those who have shared the same experience find common ground, hope and healing at Relay. By participating, you have the power to continue the American Cancer Society's progress toward a future where cancer doesn't take the lives of our friends and family.

Saving Lives

Every dollar you raise makes a difference to people in your community whose lives are touched by cancer. The Society has contributed to almost every major discovery in cancer research. Millions of lives have been saved as a result, including people you may know. For those people and countless others, the research the Society has funded is resulting in better ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer.

American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society will also continue to exert influence on all levels of government, advocating for stronger policies and enacting legislation that will save lives and conquer cancer.

Helping Those Touched By Cancer

When cancer affects you or someone you love, the American Cancer Society can lessen your fears and provide inspiration through their many programs and services - all free of charge and made possible through donations from local communities.

American Cancer Society - Survivors

Your donations also give those touched by cancer answers to their questions and offer places to turn for help in their community through the Society's Web site, and their 24-hour toll-free number, 1-800-ACS-2345.

Empowering People to Fight Back Against Cancer

A cancer survivor's recovery involves much more than medical treatments - it takes hope to heal. By participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life®, those touched by cancer can feel empowered to fight back against this disease.

All of this is made possible because of activities like Relay For Life®. Are you ready to get involved? It's easy! You can put together a team or join an existing team. You can get involved or make a donation right now.

So What Happens At Relay?

Dedicated volunteers are committed to fighting cancer in their communities year-round, but once a year, they gather at Relay For Life to celebrate survivors and caregivers, remember loved ones lost and to gain inspiration for the fight.

Each of the more than 4,800 Relays nationwide is a fun-filled, overnight event that mobilizes communities to celebrate survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), remember loved ones and raise money for the fight against cancer. Teams of eight to 15 members gather with tents and sleeping bags with the goal of keeping one person on the track at all times. Relay For Life® brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, churches ... people from all walks of life. Teams seek sponsorship prior to the Relay, all with the goal of eliminating cancer.

Relay For Life opens as cancer survivors take the first lap. This emotional time sets the stage for the importance of each participant's contribution. A festive atmosphere always develops as participants make new friends and spend time with old ones. Highlighting the evening is a luminaria Ceremony of Hope held after dark to honor cancer survivors and to remember loved ones lost to cancer. The luminaria candles line the track and are left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions.

Sign-up today to become a part of the Relay phenomenon.

Relay History

One person can make a difference. Nowhere is that more evident than with the story of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life®, which began in Tacoma, Washington, as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.

In the mid-1980s, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed—running marathons.

In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He raised $27,000 to fight cancer. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt's friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course.

While he circled the track those 24 hours, he thought about how others could take part. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Months later he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.

In 1986, 19 teams took part in the first team relay event on the track at the colorful, historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. An indescribable spirit prevailed at the track and in the tents that dotted the infield.

Since that first Relay For Life® event, millions have joined the cause all over the world, making Relay the largest fundraising event in mankind’s history.