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‘Relay’ raises record sum
By Terri Rorke
UNCP’s School of Business professor and Relay For Life event co-Chairman, W. Stewart Thomas, helped pioneer the county’s Relay For Life in 1997.
He said this year’s success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of the 16 committees and 39 teams that helped raise the money.
Thomas said 49 Scotland County corporate sponsors together raised $90,000 of the total sum.
Participating teams take turns walking around the track, while trying to “keep at least one team member on the track at all times.”
Cancer survivorsAbout 375 cancer survivors walked Scotland County’s first lap of the 24-hour long walk Sept. 8.
Thomas said he decided to organize the Relay For Life event in honor of his mother, a cancer victim who passed away in 2001.
His dedication to set up the event proved to be beneficial for the whole cancer community.
“To have an event that lasts 24 hours, is a huge huge task,” said Thomas.
The U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team helped kick off the event by parachuting into the stadium.
The event also included various music, food stands and at least 1,000 white bags.
These bags, which were sold as a fundraiser, included a name of a cancer victim and a candle inside.
They lined either side of the track and also were formed to spell out “HOPE,” “CURE,” and “LOVE.” Additional bags formed a heart shape.
“The Relay For Life’s goals are simple,” said Thomas.
Three goals“The first goal is to celebrate cancer survivorship. The second is to heighten the awareness of cancer in the community and the third goal is to raise research funds for the American Cancer Society.”
Thomas also has some other goals in mind. He is the faculty adviser for the newly formed Ruritan club at UNCP, which participated in the Relay For Life event.
The club, which is a civic service organization, is also considering organizing a Relay For Life event on campus.