Organizers of the McDuffie County Relay for Life met Tuesday evening at the Augusta Tech Thomson Campus for two purposes: celebrate last year's accomplishments and begin planning to overcome those record numbers with this year's events.
"I must tell you that we were pretty up there," said McDuffie Relay Co-Chair and Thomson Mayor Bob Knox referring to the money raised at last year's event for the American Cancer Society. "I can tell you the people in Atlanta, they know where McDuffie County is."
Thomson Mayor Bob Knox looks at Relay for Life plans Tuesday night.
Last year, the event held at Thomson High School's track raised more than $220,000 for cancer research and education. That's about $10.25 per person in the county which ranked second in the country for communities the size of McDuffie.
This year, organizers have set a goal of $200,000. They also hope to increase the number of teams from 51 last year to 53 for this year's May 12-13 event. The goal for participants is similar to last year's with 2,300 total and 250 cancer survivors.
Team captains checked in and were given information about upcoming dates associated with the relay. The theme for 2006, "And the Beat Goes On!" was announced as well.
"The main thing we want you to be doing is to get your teams organized and get things moving," Mayor Knox said.
Also new for the 2006 event will be a fundraising website. Relayers can utilize the site to send e-mails about the event and ask people from across the globe to contribute to the McDuffie County Relay. The website should be up in about two weeks.
Currently, about $12,000 is in the bank and will go toward this year's fund raising efforts. Matching funds earned by Temple Industry's team came in late for last year's event, and McCorkle's Nurseries - forced to start efforts early - contributed heavily to that figure.
The next meting for team captains and leadership team members will be Tuesday, Feb. 21 in the Augusta Tech Thomson Campus auditorium. Anyone interested in starting a team is asked to call Mayor Knox's office at 706-595-1841 or Co-Chair Peggy Willis at 706-726-2244.
"I don't see any reason that we shouldn't have a tremendous event," Mayor Knox said.