Last year's Relay for Life made it clear: McDuffie County is committerd to finding a cure for cancer.
A record-setting $201,000 was raised at the American Cancer Society's annual event last May, the most per capita in communities with 20,000 to 24,999 people. This year's group of team captains met Tuesday night at Augusta Tech's Thomson Campus to discuss goals of once again being at the top of the heap.
"You have been part of the best relay in the United States of America, and we're ready to do it again," Relay Co-Chair and Thomson Mayor Bob Knox said.
Leaders at the kick-off meeting were introduced to a new representative from the ACS who will handle the McDuffie County relay this year. Summer Garrison, the area's community manager for ACS, hopes McDuffie's relay will be in the upper echelon once again.
"I'm very excited," she said. "I'm from a small town, so I feel like I'm home."
Mayor Knox announced the group's goals for the May 13-14 event. They conservatively hope to raise $175,000 with 46 teams, up one from last year.
He also said the group hopes to include 250 cancer survivors, up from last year's 225 which was the most in the Southeast. Organizers also hope to have 2,200 participants, 100 more than last year.
Team captains were given information about upcoming dates associated with the relay. The theme for 2005, "On Track for a Cure," was announced as well. Mayor Knox said the theme gives team leaders many options for decorations and fund raising events.
"All we want to do tonight is to get started and help you plan," he said.