Friday, February 27, 2009

Team Recruitment

It has been a hectic week working for Relay For Life. Gina has been working almost nonstop this week on Relay Sponsorships and team recruitment. The deadline to get signed up on a team is March 1st. We want to get as many people signed up as possible. The Relay event is not until April 17, but we have a deadline to sign up so that we can get the t-shirts printed in time. As of February 27 we have 25 teams that have signed up with over 250 participants. We are still hoping for a few more teams to sign up this weekend.

Fundraising has started in earnest. A number of teams will be having drawings at the Relay. Around town you can contribute to Relay For Life, and have a chance to win a Wii, A 32" LCD HDTV, A rifle, A deer stand, a BBQ smoker, or a tent. There is a most beautiful baby contest, bake sales, breakfasts, people going door to door, and even nursing home residents raising money for Relay For Life. Even in these tough economic times, I have seen that most people are still willing to contribute to worthy causes. Gina like to tell people "I know times are hard, but having cancer is harder".

If you are not aware of what Relay For Life is; Relay For Life is a fun-filled, overnight event that empowers everyone to help fight cancer by raising money and awareness to support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission. Teams of people camp out at local high schools, parks, or fairgrounds and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Relay For Life symbolizes the hope that people lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face the disease have support, and that one day cancer will be eliminated. Check out Relay For Life in your area. You can find an event near you by going here an putting in your zip code.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fund Raising Tips

1. Donate $20 yourself and ask four friends for $20 each

2. Ask 20 friends to donate $5 each

3. Ask 10 friends to donate $10 each

4. Send a letter to family and friends, explaining what Relay is and ask for a donation. Suggestion: Always ask for more than you expect. Example: If you want $25, ask for $50. Be sure to include a due date to send a donation.

5. Send a letter from your pet to family and friends. You might also want to send this out to your veterinarian.

6. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Knock on doors and ask your neighbors for their support.

7. Arrange a dress-down day at work. Anyone dressing down will have to pay. Be sure you have a sign that says, "Please excuse our appearance today, we are dressing down to benefit the American Cancer Society Relay For Life." You could charge anywhere from $1 to $5 per person to dress down. You could arrange these on a weekly or monthly basis.

8. Arrange with the principal of a local school for baseball cap day. Usually caps are not allowed, however, for $1, once a month, a student could wear a baseball cap in class. Be sure to have a sign ready that says, "Caps for a Cure - you will see students today sporting baseball caps as a fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society Relay For Life."

9. Hold a can & bottle drive.

10. Collect donations by displaying cut-out suns and moons that are available through your American Cancer Society staff partner. These can be in honor or in memory of loved ones.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Survivors Lap

An important part of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life is the celebration of nearly 11 million cancer survivors who are alive in the United States today. Survivors include anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Whether you are currently fighting your battle, or have been cancer-free for many years, you are a survivor. We also celebrate the many Caregivers who have provided countless hours of care and support.

Relay For Life is a special place for Survivors. Survivors are the main reason we continue to Relay. Survivors show us that we are making great strides in our fight against cancer, so we invite all survivors to come join us. We want to celebrate you during the opening ceremony of Relay, and invite you to walk in a special Survivors lap. If you would like to register to participate in this year's Survivor Lap & activities, please call Carol Lane at 479-216-3926. We will also honor survivors during the lighting of luminarias that shine to represent the hope for a future where cancer no longer threatens those we love.

More people are surviving cancer than ever before, and there are many reasons to celebrate. However, we know that more than 1.4 million people will be diagnosed with cancer this year and many will need a place to turn for inspiration, hope, and support. The American Cancer Society is the place to turn for help. No matter where you are in your cancer journey, The American Cancer Society offers free programs and services to help you through every step of the way. Call us anytime, day or night at 1-800-ACS-2345 (1-800-227-2345). Whether it is getting you the information you need to make treatment decisions and better understand your disease, helping you deal with the day-to-day challenges of living with cancer, such as transportation and insurance issues, or connecting you with others who have been through the cancer journey for emotional support, we are here and we can help. The many programs and services we offer are made possible by donations raised from Relay For Life events nationwide. The Polk County Relay For Life event will be held at Janssen Park in Mena on April 17-18.

Look Good Feel Better

Trudy Hightower is a woman who understands the importance of being at the right place at the right time. As administrative assistant to the Women's Center at Conway Regional, Hightower had experience with the Look Good...Feel Better program, but she never dreamed that she would one day be coordinating it.

"It was an accident that happened for a reason," says Hightower. "[At first] I was not sure I could do this, but when I saw those women smile I knew I could help others. We call them parties, because it feels like a party once we are finished."

Since 2002, Hightower has been coordinating Look Good...Feel Better at the Conway Regional Medical Clinic. Look Good...Feel Better is a program offered through a collaboration between the American Cancer Society, Personal Care Products Council Foundation, and the National Cosmetology Association. The program is designed around the concept that if someone with cancer can be helped to look good, their improved self-esteem will help them to approach their disease and treatment with greater confidence.

Hightower says that the program is a welcome break from treatment for many participants. "Every appointment these patients have is about their cancer, but with the Look Good...Feel Better program it is not about their chemo. It is a party about them and about feeling better. The transformations are awesome," she says.

A thyroid cancer survivor herself, Hightower knows the importance of having a support system. "My cancer was still encapsulated and was removed. I did not have to go through what many of these women do," she says. "The American Cancer Society is doing good things."

In 2003, Hightower won the American Cancer Society's award for "Patient Support Best Practice" and the "Women Mean Business" gala award in the management category in 2006-2007. She resides in Vilonia, Ark., with her husband and two daughters.

Look Good...Feel Better
volunteers are licensed cosmetologists. The program is offered at no cost to participants. For more information about Look Good...Feel Better or how to volunteer, please call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit

Friday, February 6, 2009

Colon Cancer Survival

In 2007, an estimated 112,340 Americans were diagnosed with colon cancer and 41,420 with rectal cancer. More than 52,000 people were expected to die from the disease last year. Colon cancer is largely preventable if precancerous polyps are found and removed before they become cancerous. If colon cancer is found and treated at its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent.