A luncheon commending the sponsors and teams that helped raise money for cancer cure research in the 2005 Relay also served as the kick-off for this year's Relay, set for June 2 and 3 in the Gallipolis City Park.
“The power of Relay is that it allows us to join with other Relay events across the nation to grieve with those who have undergone loss due to cancer, and celebrate with those who have survived,” local Relay Chairman Bonnie McFarland said.
Last year's event was successful in raising around $74,000 through donations and fund-raising by Relay teams that walk around the park and participate in other activities over two days.
Top fund-raisers for 2005 included Survivors and Friends, and Benny's Buddies from Holzer Clinic, who were the Platinum sponsors; Ohio Valley Bank, Gold sponsor; and Holzer Surgery Services, the Wiseman Agency, InfoCision, ElectroCraft/Rockwell, the Ohio Valley Bicycle Club, Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative and Charlie's Angels from Holzer Medical Center, all Silver sponsors.
The Relay for Life Committee has set a goal to raise $80,000 for 2006 and organizers have raised around $9,000 so far. That amount increased by $5,000 when HMC and Holzer Clinic, partners in the new Holzer Center for Cancer Care, jointly donated on behalf of the center.
Thomas E. Tope, president and chief executive officer of Holzer Consolidated Health Systems, told the audience the center has been designed, staffed and equipped to become pre-eminent in the region and state for treatment of cancer victims.
“Cancer survivors are very special people and that's why we wanted to build this building. They deserve it,” added Dr. Wayne Munro, Holzer Clinic's president. “Both organizations believe (Relay) is a very worthy cause.”
Jenni Dovyak, Relay's media chair, said that money raised by the event goes to support American Cancer Society activities within the cancer center, which opened its doors one year ago this month.
Moving swiftly to recognition of corporate and organization sponsors, HMC was named the Superhero sponsor in providing $2,500 or more in support to Relay last year.
The Hero awards, going to donors who gave $1,000 or more, were presented to Holzer Clinic, Gallipolis Career College, Holzer Assisted Living, US Bank, Ohio Valley Bank and Midget Press. The OVB and Midget Press awards were for in-kind donations.
Recognized for donating $500 to $800 were Holzer Center for Cancer Care, Budget Inn, Gallia County Medical Society, Supresta, Bob's Market and Greenhouses Inc., and the Gallipolis Junior Women's Club. Subway, WRYV-FM The River and the Gallipolis Daily Tribune provided in-kind donations.
Donating in the $200-$300 range were AEP-Gavin, United Way of Gallia County, Haffelt's Mill Outlet, AEP-Philip Sporn, C.C. Caldwell Trucking and the Gallipolis Rotary Club.
Recognized for donations of $150 or less were Dailey Tire, Gallia County Extension Homemakers, Rio Tire Exchange, Cliff's Auto Repair, Coach's Corner, Oak Hill Banks, Gallipolis Business and Professional Women's Club and Willis Funeral Home. An in-kind donation was supplied by Auto Trim Center.