Every year the Augusta area hosts a variety of fund-raisers which benefit diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and lupus. One long-standing fund-raiser is the Relay for Life.
Augusta has hosted a Relay for Life fund-raiser for the past 26 years. It’s a fund-raiser that teen groups participate in as well. Disclosure: I am a member of the Evans High School group.
“Relay for Life is a community-wide fundraiser during which teams of coworkers, students or friends compete to raise the most money. The fundraiser benefits all types of cancers,” says English teacher Rhonda Thornton, one of three relay team leaders for Evans High School’s relay team.
“The fundraiser ends with the actual relay, which is more of a big fundraising celebration,” she said.
Thornton, a cancer survivor, participates in the event in hopes of finding a cure for cancer.
“I would like to see a cure for cancer within my lifetime,” she said
Evans High School’s relay team consists of more than 70 students who raise money for cancer, including junior Wyndi Kappes.
“My grandpa and grandma both died from cancer. Relay is my way to make a difference.” Wyndi, 17, raises money by selling her special Ritz cookies, which are made of Ritz crackers filled with peanut butter and covered in chocolate.
This year Wyndi looks forward to participating in the relay itself.
“We stay up all night. We play games, walk laps, and have a good time,” she said.
In addition to individual efforts, the Evans High Relay Team collaborates in order to raise funds. This year the team is hosting an auction in which students can bid for a date with a relay team member, a bake sale on Fort Gordon in late April and a kiss the pig contest, during which Evans High School principal Don Brigdon will kiss a pig in front of the Evans High School student body if the Relay team reaches its fund raising goal.
Non-relay team members may also help to raise money for the fund-raiser. Evans High School sophomore Amy Foster does not have the time to devote to the team, but participates in Relay for Life by setting up the event on relay night and helping her older sister, who is a relay team member, raise money.
“Relay is a great fund-raiser. Not only does it raise money for cancer, but it shows how many people are affected by it. People are often afraid to talk to their doctors about cancer, but this fundraiser is proof that they (cancer patients) are not alone.”
This year Augusta’s Relay for Life will take place at Westside High School May 14-15.
Teen Board Member Jackie Rodriguez is a senior at Evans High School