By TRAVIS HANDY
Monday night brought the second in a series of monthly meetings before Pulaski County’s annual mid-May Relay for Life event. Committee members and team leaders spent time this month preparing for their fundraising drive and discussing different options for raising money, as well as further organization of events and entertainment for the big night.
Relay committee members spent the first hour of their monthly meeting, one of at least four leading up to Relay for Life at Randolph Park in Dublin, discussing details of the evening. Topics ranged from entertainment for the relay itself to who will be entertaining guests at April’s Survivor Dinner, set to be held this year at Dublin United Methodist Church.
The group went over several suggestions for local bands and groups of entertainers who have either shown interest in performing this year or have already performed for past relays in the county. This year the group is working along with the theme ‘Rockin’ for a Cure.’
This year’s relay will be 50s- and- 60s- themed, thus organizers have an interest in pulling in performances fitting that bill, although they welcome volunteers who may like to put their talents to use for a good cause.
The Pulaski relay is organized by volunteers under the leadership of Erika Tolbert, American Cancer Society community leader, who reminded the group once again why the work they do is important.
“If you ever feel like you’re not making a difference, just remember the time that you are creating for people and the moments that are being made because of the work you are doing, and keep that close to your heart,” said Tolbert, before handing the meeting over to Nancy Robinson, co-captain of the fundraising team for the county’s relay.
Robinson was part of a very successful team from Caterpillar in Dublin, which raised between $5,000 and $7,000 for the 2012 Relay for Life.
Robinson encouraged team captains during the second part of the meeting to be creative and set goals for their team’s fundraisers for the year.
“When you’re setting your goals, consider how much money can be raised,” said Robinson, suggesting team members begin planning with a small nest egg of money from team members, instantly creating a level of support and effort from the team itself. “Kind of get an idea about what your teammates like to do.”
Robinson suggested pooling a team’s talents as tools for fundraising and showed examples of crafts which could be sold to generate income for teams. She also offered an easy idea for raising funds from people or organizations: ask.
“A lot of times people will donate something you don’t (expect),” said Robinson. “If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.”
The committee discussed drumming up support from businesses in the area, as well as Pulaski County and Pulaski and Dublin town employees. At one point of a friendly “competition” between Radford and Pulaski County, much like the annual “Battle of the Bridge,” was suggested, as attendees remembered the annual friendly bet between Radford’s Mayor, Bruce Brown and his long-time friend and Pulaski County Board of Supervisors member Joe Sheffey.
Efforts will be ramped up over the next several weeks in businesses, schools, churches and on a personal level between participants and potential donors, with the goal of raising at least $83,000 for the cause of fighting cancer and supporting people personally engaged in the struggle against the disease. The group hopes to organize 48 teams and 750 relay participants before the main event.
Interested community members are invited to attend the next team captain meeting scheduled for March 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Eure Education Building behind LewisGale Hospital-Pulaski. Meetings are the third Monday each month until May’s event at Randolph Park in Dublin.
Participants will relay throughout the night and through dawn, from 6 p.m. May 17 to 6 a.m. May 18. For more information visit www.relayforlife.org, contact Erika Tolbert at (540) 774-2716 or event chair, Casey Adams, at email@example.com.