Relay team makes giving personal

One battle that unites everyone - regardless of age, income, favorite team or any other classification - is the fight against cancer. It touches everyone everywhere.

But this weekend those of us in Cabarrus County will have a chance to join the fight to beat cancer.

Relay For Life is an annual event held around the world, in which folks come together to celebrate survivors, mourn the lives cancer has taken and raise money for a cure.

This year the Cabarrus County Relay will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday and continue until 7 a.m. the following morning at Jay M. Robinson High School in Concord.

The relay has lots of special features. There is a dinner for cancer survivors, and a cancer survivors' lap at 7 p.m. Kim Beecham, the organizer for this year's relay, said she and the other volunteers would love to have 500 cancer survivors present.

There's still time for survivors to register for the dinner, and they can simply show up to walk. Registration information is available at

Also at the website, you can make a donation to any of the 60 teams already participating, purchase a luminaria in honor or memory of a loved one, find ways to volunteer and learn about other fundraising events.

If you look at the list of "Top Teams" on the website, you'll see the fundraising leader is an eastern Cabarrus team: Corning Inc. Corning is in Midland and though this is the company's first year to sponsor a Relay For Life team, it has already raised more than $4,000.

I talked with Lisa Williams at Corning about the team's enthusiasm and success. She said the company is always looking for ways to make a local impact. So when employee Cheryl Hill raised the idea of creating a Relay For Life team, it seemed like a great way to make a difference.

The Corning team has about 30 members, with Hill as their captain. Williams said the team has members from all different areas of the plant, as well as their friends and family.

To raise money, they've been selling merchandise and candy in the cafeteria as well as at family day events.

And they've done very well with casual Fridays, when an employee can wear jeans to work for a $5 donation. That's netted hundreds of dollars for the team, according to Williams.

I asked Williams why the team has been so successful with its fundraising.

She said she thinks it's because the members have made donating to Relay and the American Cancer Society as personal as they could. They talk about the event, and they have posted a sign-up sheet where employees can volunteer to walk for 30 minutes of the relay.

Cancer is personal for a lot of people. Next weekend, take some time to join the battle. Donate, walk or simply visit the Relay For Life event and show your support.

Letter carriers' food drive

Harry Lassiter from the Mount Pleasant Food Ministry called with a reminder for everyone to participate in the Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger campaign on Saturday.

It's very easy. Just leave nonperishable food at your mailbox, and it will be delivered via local food ministries to folks who need it here in eastern Cabarrus County. Like cancer, hunger never rests, so do what you can to help.