Barry County organizes solo Relay For Life for Sept. 20

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pair of relays 
combined into one event at Monett's South Park

The Relay For Life of Barry County has combined this year's area Relays For Life into one event at Monett South Park, located at highways 37 and 60, from 3 to 11 p.m. on Sept. 20.

Barry County previously had a Monett Relay and a Cassville Relay each year, said Courtney Furgerson, a Relay specialist for the High Plains Division -- which covers Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Her office is in Springfield.

Organizers combined the Relay to make the event bigger and to allow for more people to participate, she said. The Relay, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, is just on a Saturday instead of from Friday evening to Saturday morning.

"Our end goal is to end cancer," Furgerson said. "To do that, we are looking for the cure.

"We will fund research with that money. We will fund patient programs with that money."

Last year, Cassville did not have an official Relay, she said. It held a survivor dinner and then had a community luminary ceremony the first weekend in June that raised just more than $3,000. In 2012, the Relay For Life of South Barry County raised $18,489.44. The Relay For Life of Monett raised $68,105.80 in 2013, an increase of almost $2,100 over 2012.

The Freedom Bank team has exceeded its $5,000 goal for Relay For Life, said Raylene Hart, who has been the team captain for several years. She is a personal banking representative at the Cassville Branch.

The team, which covers the branches in Cassville, Golden, Seligman, Shell Knob and Willard, raised all of its funds over a two-year period, she said. The associates raised most of the funds through $5 dress-down days (jeans, a T-shirt and a sticker) once a month, $5 food days every couple of months and recycling aluminum cans.

"It is a good feeling to raise money because most of the Freedom Bank associates have had a loved one that's battled [cancer] or who has lost someone due to cancer," Hart said. "So, I think it touches a lot of people personally, [and] it is a great organization to give to."

The Barry County Emergency Services, the Monett 911 and the Lawrence County 911 formed a Relay team called the BAMOLA Ringers, said Ann Hennigan, the office manager for Barry County Emergency Services.

The team is producing a cookbook, Hennigan said. The Ringers will give its cookbooks to people who donate what they think is fair to the team. Its goal is to raise at least $1,000.

Last year, the Monett Relay had a 3.38 percent expense ratio, and this year's Barry County Relay has a 1.49 percent expense ratio, Furgerson said.

"We work really hard to make sure that donor dollars go to fund the mission of ACS to end cancer," she said.

This year's Relay has a silent auction, a Little Miss and Little Mister contest, survivor and caregiver laps, a luminary ceremony and a Queen of the Relay contest.

In 2012, the American Cancer Society spent $304 million for patient support, $160 million for cancer research, $153 million for prevention information and education, $97 million for detection and treatment, $218 million for fundraising expenses and $59 million for management and general expenses.

For more information, people may contact Furgerson at courtney.furgerson@cancer.org or 417-447-1476.

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