The 2011 Clay County American Cancer Society's Relay For Life committee met in the Riddell National Bank Community Room Tuesday.
"Cancer shouldn't be a 'BUZZ' word," Committee Chairperson Carrol Evans said. "Cancer should be a 'WAS' word. As a child of a cancer survivor, this is very important to me. I'm dedicated to making cancer a 'WAS' word. We are a community trying to make cancer a 'WAS' word."
To help do that, local Relay organizers are starting to work now to attain their goal of $33,000 for the 2011 fundraising campaign. Including Clay County's Relay, 337 Relay events throughout Indiana and Michigan helped raise $22.5 million for the fight against cancer.
During these hard economic times, ACS Community Representative Rachel Romas said the plan was to not set unrealistic fundraising goals.
"Families are struggling with their budget dollars and there are a lot of organizations vying for attention. With this added time before our actual kickoff in February, Relay teams will have more time for fundraising events," Romas said. "We were just shy of our financial goal last year, but we definitely made up for it in other areas."
In preparation for the 2011 fundraising campaign, organizers were happy to announce the local Relay website (http://www.relayforlife.org/claycountyin) is up and running and there is also a Facebook page (Clay County Relay) for people to share their stories, information about upcoming events and notify others about local fundraisers.
"I'm so happy. You can register yourself or your team on the website right now," Evans said. "It's really easy to sign up this year. The sooner people and teams get signed up, the better."
This year's goal is to organize 30 teams for the overnight fundraising event at the YMCA, 5 E. Kruzan St, Brazil, which is scheduled to take place May 14-15.
"Relay is a lot of fun, but we don't want to lose sight of the real mission," Romas said. "This year, we want to actively work on getting information about the services we provide out to cancer patients."
During the first fundraising event for 2011 Clay County Relay, Bark For Life took place at Forest Park on Sept. 17.
"It was a great success," Romas said about the event in which 15 dogs were registered and close to $300 was raised. "Everyone had a great time, the dogs all got along and we were able to help provide a new cancer patient with services and information. That's what we are here for, to help those in need."
Committee Meetings will take place the second Tuesday of each month in the Riddell National Bank Community Room, times to be announced in The Brazil Times and on the Relay website.
This year's fundraising goal is $33,000 for the event scheduled for May 14-15, 2011.