Cape Gazette
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Join in ACS Relay for Life

By Walter J. Godwin | Mar 11, 2014

My name is Walt Godwin. I am a brother of nine siblings, six of which have died from cancer and I am a father who, last year, buried my beloved 47 year-old daughter from cancer and I am also a prostate cancer survivor myself. These are the most important reasons why I am a proud and passionate volunteer for the American Cancer Society and this year I am the Chair of the Eastern/Coastal Relay for Life in Sussex County.

Relay is a 12-hour walking event and is a celebration of life which honors cancer survivors and caregivers and memorializes cancer victims. It is the American Cancer Society's premier fundraising event and, since its inception in 1985, has raised more than $5 billion. Funds generated by this event are used by the society for an array of services from providing a toll free 24-hour a day cancer information hotline (800-227-2345), patient services, education and most importantly research dollars for better treatments and ultimately the cure. Just imagine a world that is cancer free. Relay is working toward that goal and your donations to the event are tax deductible!

I have “relayed” for almost 20 years and I can personally assure you that if you relay one time, you will be hooked. I have found relay to be an emotional outlet for all the frustration I feel as a caregiver. It makes me feel empowered to make a difference against the disease that has taken my loved ones from me. One of the dollars I raise might be the one dollar that funds the cure!

Form your own team and come join us Friday, May 16, at 6 p.m. at Millsboro Middle School. There will be incentive prizes for top money raisers, on-site fundraisers, entertainment throughout the event and lots of fun for families. Talk to your local civic organizations, youth groups, companies, fitness groups, family and friends and encourage them to form a relay team so that they, too, can make a difference in the war on cancer. I also want everyone to understand that even though this is a walking event, you may still have a team even if you are unable to make it around the track. Walking is not a requirement, but celebrating a life free of cancer is! That having been said, runners are also welcome. If there is enough interest from runners, we will have a “Dash to Dawn” 5K just prior to closing ceremonies at 6 a.m. on May 17. So, everyone come out to this event and enjoy yourselves.

Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. and will include survivor and caregiver laps and a survivor banquet free of charge to the cancer survivor and their caregiver. If you are a cancer survivor and wish to participate in this event, or if you wish to have your own team for our Coastal Delaware Relay, please go to our event website at www.relayforlife.org/coastaldelawarede or contact me at 856-9397 or e: mail me at wandjgodwin@mchsi.com and I will be happy to sign you up. You can also go online to the website to donate to the event and purchase luminaria bags or tiki torches in honor or in memory of your loved one. These will be displayed at the event and will light our path as we walk through the night fighting back against cancer! I would also love to hear from any businesses who would like to show their support by becoming a sponsor for the event. Everyone should feel free to contact me.

If walking, running or sponsoring is not your thing, just stop by relay at Millsboro Middle School on May 16 and find out what we are all about. Relay is open to the public from 6 p.m. until midnight. We hope you will join us.

Walter J. Godwin
Georgetown

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