LUMBERTON — The intermittent rain during the annual Robeson County Relay for Life didn’t drown the event’s fundraising goal of $150,000.
According to Morgan Sills, one of the organizers of the event, so far it has raised $125,000 and money will continue to be collected until Aug. 31, so she is confident the goal will be met and then surpassed. She was appreciative.
“I would like to thank the community for their support,” Sills said. “Even with the community being affected by Hurricane Matthew, they still helped.”
The 24th annual edition in Robeson County was held over 24 hours at the Robeson County Fairground beginning Friday at 9 a.m. and ending on Saturday at 9 a.m.
Sills said 50 teams, 800 participants, and 465 cancer survivors attended the event. She said about half of the 800 participants paid admission, and about half got in free for purchasing a 2018 Hope Club Shirt.
The event included entertainment, vendors, a Survivor Dinner, a Survivor/ Caregiver Walk, and a Luminaria Ceremony. Once concession to the rain was that the Luminaria Ceremony was moved inside and out of the rain. The goal of 1,000 luminaries was surpassed with 1,200.
Since the inaugural event in the county in 1995, it has raised $2.654 million for the American Cancer Society, which among other things provides money for research to fight the nation’s No. 2 killer. Cancer kills about 600,000 Americans a year, with the leading kinds being lung, breast and prostate.
The American Cancer Society will use the money to support patient services, a cancer hotline at 1-800-227-2345, educational programs about the disease, research at top universities, and advocacy activities to keep government leaders focused on cancer.