WENDELL — East Wake Academy seniors Helen Droter and Lilly Stell now know first-hand how eager existing East Wake Relay for Life team members are to help prospective teams get started.
They attended Thursday’s mid-season Relay kickoff event at Wendell Baptist Church to register their school’s National Honor Society for the cancer-fighting fundraiser. They left impressed by the welcoming they received and by the organization of the local Relay family.
“We pretty much knew nothing about Relay for Life,” said Stell, the NHS president at East Wake Academy. “Everyone was just jumping in to help.”
The two received packets containing dates of interest leading up to the May 30-31 Relay at Five County Stadium, team planning material and virtually everything else they needed to know to run a Relay team.
“Being able to get all that information in one place is really helpful for us,” Stell said.
Droter, the NHS vice president, said several Relay veterans showed their support for her emerging team.
“We were approached by several people who had awesome outreach opportunities, and offered to help us fundraise and give us ideas for fundraising at our school and in our community,” she said.
Garnering participation from the East Wake Academy student body is the next objective for the NHS leaders. Droter wants to see strong student involvement.
“I want people to not only donate, but come to the event itself and partner with the student-led organization as well as the Relay for Life organization in the fight against cancer,” Droter said.
The NHS team was one of two that joined the local Relay at Thursday’s meeting, which consisted of updates followed by spin-offs of Winter Olympic games.
“They can reach out to the student body as well as reaching out to the communities they each come from, so it’s a wide potential for fundraising and spreading the word about Relay and the fight against cancer,” said Vickie Curtis, the chairperson of the local Relay.
The other newcomer is a team of employees from the Town of Knightdale.
Curtis said the new additions are “exactly that breath of fresh air we are interested in bringing into our organization.”
Curtis and American Cancer Society representatives shared some good news as the kickoff concluded. Over the week leading up to the meeting, the number of cancer survivors registered online for the East Wake Relay for Life had more than doubled – from 40 to 86.
“That was a good surprise we got from ACS that they shared with us as we begin our push from now until mid-March to get survivors registered,” Curtis said.
Curtis also announced about $4,500 had been turned in by those in attendance. The teams raised that amount through individual and corporate donations since their last meeting on Jan. 16.
Moody: 919-829-4806; Twitter: @easternwakenews