Supporting our local Relays for Life

Relays for Life stand as a beacon of hope and offer area residents the chance to have a little fun and share time with their friends while helping to raise money to help in the fight against cancer.

We have seen that during the past couple of months.

In Wellsburg, for example, the Brooke-Hancock Relay for Life at Brooke Hills Park had a goal of raising $26,000 and was organized around a “Star Wars” theme. That was appropriate, because the event was held on May 4.

The Jefferson County Relay for Life, meanwhile, was held last weekend at a first-time venue, Clarke Hinkle Stadium in Toronto. That event was built around a Disney theme — “Making cures come true” — and also raised thousands for the American Cancer Society and to help in its work to provide research patient services, advocacy and education.

Relays involve hours and hours of walking, plus a variety of fundraisers throughout the year, and it’s all possible thanks to the efforts of tireless volunteers, who give of themselves to help family members, friends and even people they have never met. Activities include survivors’ laps and dinners, lighted luminaria in memory of those lost to cancer and hundreds of teams participating, each sponsored by citizens, organizations, local businesses and churches, all with that common goal.

And, as always, area residents have shown their generosity and willingness to help in the fight against cancer. This year’s goal in Jefferson County was $82,500, but as of a few days ago, organizers had reported that more than $88,000 had been raised.

Among the biggest contributors to those totals were students in the region’s schools, whose efforts have raised tens of thousands of dollars for the fight against cancer. That’s especially important in our area, which continues to have some of the highest rates of cancer in the nation.

The relays also serve as a reminder that we must continue to do all we can to promote healthy living, early prevention and support the medical advances and researchers who are, as the cancer society motto goes, trying to create a world with more birthdays.