American Cancer Society donations total $183,000 | Lifestyles

The Oconee-Clarke Relay For Life has raised over $183,000, which will go to the American Cancer Society to support the vision of a world without cancer. The original fundraising goal was $120,000.

“Congratulations on all of your hard work,” said Deborah Dietzler, lead announcer for Relay For Life. “That’s a terrific total, and it will certainly do a lot of good in the fight to advance a cure for cancer.”

Relay For Life rewarded several teams for their fundraising efforts.

A prize was awarded to Rays United Methodist Church for the most money raised by a church. Its members raised more than $25,000. Dove Creek Elementary School received an award for the most money raised by an elementary school. Its students, parents and staff raised over $9,000.

Oconee County Middle School received an award for the most money raised by a middle school, having raised over $9,000. Oconee County High School had the honor of raising the most money by a high school at over $3,000.

Cable East’s Paul Feener received an award for the most money raised by a family group. They raised over $13,000. The “Pink Panther Hot Mamas” team, whose slogan was “on the trail of a cure”, received an award for the most money raised by a group of friends. They raised over $34,000.

The prize for the most money raised by an individual went to Rays United Methodist Church member Brenda Walraven. She raised over $22,000.

Relay For Life also recognized teams that won certain categories.

The “Pink Panther Hot Mamas” team won Best Theme and BankSouth won Best Campsite. Oconee County Middle School won an award for the best banner and an award for the largest on-site fundraiser.

The rookie team of the year was Alps Road Elementary School, and the most feisty team was “Saints for a Cure”. The prize for best costume went to Daniel Epting, a Power in Purple contestant.

“On behalf of Relay For Life, we want to say to the teams, sponsors, survivors, caregivers, participants who have come together to make this event a success, we are helping the American Cancer Society fulfill its mission of lead the fight for a cancer-free world,” Dietzler said.

Gracelyn Thrash, senior development manager at the American Cancer Society, said the money will keep flowing.

“We have a lot of money to make,” Thrash said.

Money raised at Oconee-Clarke’s Relay For Life enables ACS to provide free rides to chemotherapy treatments, provide housing near hospitals, help run their 24-hour helpline 24/7 to fund cancer research and more.

“The Relay For Life movement unites us as a community. Together we fight cancer,” Dietzler said. “Be very proud that we’ve helped the American Cancer Society invest even more in research that improves and saves lives.”

To donate or for more information, visit

For more on this story, check out the May 5 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores, grocery stores and newsboxes across Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website.

About Hector Hedgepeth

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