Relay for Life needs a boost

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 3, 2007

Small-town living often gets rave reviews, mostly from people who live in them.

The people of small towns enjoy the closeness of a community, of feeling part of something that’s greater than the individual, or a camaraderie that’s lost in cities, or even in the suburbs.

People here talk of such things.

But people here also do something about it. They thrive in it.

Relay for Life is a fund-raising campaign of various incarnations with one single goal: To raise money to contribute to the fight against cancer.

This is where the small-town nature comes into play: Cancer haunts so many people, and small towns rally around those in need. We’ve seen it in neighborhood rallies for those victims of senseless violence; we’ve seen it in churches when prayers are said for those in difficult situations; we’ve seen it by neighbors looking after one another.

But the Relay for Life effort is a little different. It involves groups throughout the area coming up with their own methods for raising money. Whether it’s a walk-a-thon, a bike-a-thon, or anything-a-thon, organizations offer a variety of options. Yet, the goal remains the same.

The effort in Franklin and Southampton County has only been operating since 1995. But during that time the chapter raised more than $1.5 million n that’s million.

Yes, the numbers are down in recent years. An organizer called it a &uot;bell curve,&uot; which is true, but hardly helpful when the goal is to continue to raise more than the total from the year before.

So we place this challenge to organizers and participants alike: Become creative again. Devise new fund-raising events, new ways to keep the interest high and fix the bell curve so that’s a straight line upward.

A few years ago, that phrase might have included, &uot;break down paradigms; create new ones.&uot; The words might be antiquated, but the meaning is not. Re-energize. Re-energize those forming the fund-raisers and re-energize those who participate to contribute to this most worthy cause.

Your neighbors need it, your friends need it, the small-town environment needs it.