“Because of you”

Published 10:13 am Thursday, May 23, 2013

To the Editor:

The chairs of Bertie County Relay For Life would like to say thank you to the citizens of Bertie County and supporters of Relay For Life.  Our 2013 event was a special occasion “Because Of You”.

Each year we come together for 24 hours to celebrate life, to remember those who have lost the battle, and to raise funds for research, education, advocacy, and patient services.  The annual event has come and gone but the spirit of Relay lives on.  As we strive to fulfill the mission of the American Cancer Society, the community becomes one team in the fight against cancer.  People are living with cancer thanks to your efforts.

This year we celebrated 20 Years of Hope. We also celebrated The American Cancer Society’s 100th birthday. A special fireworks presentation was a certain crowd pleaser following the Luminaria Ceremony.

Words cannot fully express our gratitude to our team captains and members for all your efforts in fundraising and your participation at Relay.  To each of our sponsors and contributors, we say a special thank you.  Every dollar is a strike against cancer.  This cooperative effort will have helped Bertie County raise approximately $245,000 by the end of our Relay season.  All monies raised at Relay For Life are sent to the American Cancer Society to fund its mission.  For every dollar raised here, three are returned to North Carolina because of its vast number of teaching and research hospitals.  Your dollars also help to support Hope Lodge in Greenville, NC and local patient support programs in Bertie County.

Special thanks must be extended to Bertie County Board of Education, Superintendent Elaine White and Principal Calvin Moore, for graciously hosting the event at Bertie High School.  We also thank our rescue squads for their commitment to the safety of our participants.  To Bertie County Sheriff John Holley, we thank you and your officers who graciously volunteered their time to assist at the event.  Also, to all our speakers, entertainers, and our DJ – Ed Pittman, we thank you.

We must also thank our planning committee members, a small group of volunteers who work tirelessly and unselfishly to plan, organize, and coordinate the activities for Relay For Life.  Each year, they continue to work to implement changes which serve to promote a wholesome family event which will be heartwarming and entertaining for all.  The Relay For Life event has numerous facets but the planning committee’s embracement of Relay is overwhelming and becomes a reality due to their dedication and commitment.

Most importantly, to the honored cancer survivors…thank you for being there.  You are why we Relay; you are our heroes; you are our inspiration to continue.  Your “handprints” at Relay leave a lasting impression on each of us. This year we were honored to have 220 Survivors kick off our Relay with the celebratory first lap in their honor.

We look forward to seeing each of you next year at our 21st annual Relay For Life of Bertie County.  Until then, remember that it is about “being a community that takes up the fight”.

Artie Johnson and Kathy Cobb

Chairs of Bertie County Relay For Life