Relay equals unity for committee

Amid an array of sports memorabilia, leaders of the 2014 Barnwell County Relay for Life announce this year’s theme, which is sports related.

Amid an array of sports memorabilia, leaders of the 2014 Barnwell County Relay for Life announce this year’s theme, which is sports related.

First Byline: 
Jonathan Vickery - Staff Writer

Everyone has their favorite sports team, but the Barnwell County Relay for Life committee hopes residents will put their sports rivalry aside and join forces in the fight against cancer.
That's why the theme for the 2014 event is "Rival Teams Unite to Finish the Fight." Leaders made the announcement during the Jan. 9 kick-off celebration.
"We're celebrating 100 years of victories," said Marnie Walls, the specialist with the American Cancer Society who represents Barnwell County.
A video explained how only one in 10 people diagnosed with cancer in 1913 survived, a statistic that has grown to two out of three a century later.
While they've come a long way in fighting cancer, Walls said there is still work to do. "You all play a very important role," she said to those gathered at the SouthernCarolina Alliance business center.
Cancer survivor Ron Still, electrical instructor at the Barnwell County Career Center, echoed that sentiment while sharing how he found out he had cancer - a shock for the husband and father who stays active and coaches sports. "It didn't take me long to realize it would take a team to get me through this," said Still.
Like any team, Still said there are many parts and a place for everyone to use their talents to defeat a shared opponent. "The biggest opponent we're going to face is cancer," he said. "Cancer will lose when it's all said and done," but it's going to take everyone working together.
From helping plan the event to being a part of a team, Walls encouraged everyone to get involved.
Stephanie Reely, the outgoing specialist for Barnwell County, said 2013 was a "phenomenal year" for the Barnwell County Relay for Life with approximately $60,000 being raised. They received a state Relay award for having the highest percentage increase with 125 percent growth in 2013 over 2012. In addition, Williston District 29 Superintendent Dr. Tom Siler was named the S.C. Superintendent of the Year for his participation in the 2013 event.
"You really need to be proud of that accomplishment," added Walls, who has been with the ACS for 22 years.
The committee hopes to build on the success seen in 2013 by having 33 teams of 440 participants, along with 100 survivors, raise $63,000. A team typically includes eight to 10 people who each raise at least $100.
Anyone interested in forming a team is welcome to attend the team captain's meeting Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 5:45 at the SouthernCarolina Alliance business center.
This year's Relay is set for April 25 at the Veterans Park in Barnwell.
For more information about the Barnwell County Relay for Life or to register a team, visit www.relayforlife.org/barnwellsc or find them on Facebook by searching for "Relay for Life of Barnwell County."
The American Cancer Society can be reached anytime at 1-800-227-2345.