PICKENS COUNTY — With a new chairman for the 2016 Relay for Life and a new slogan for this year’s event, the Pickens County chapter of Relay for Life kicked off its 2016 campaign on Monday to much fanfare and high expectations.
The 2015 walk to raise money for cancer research was a success, hitting the $55,000 mark. As a result, Tracey Long, community manager for Pickens County, sees this year as a stepping stone to even bigger years to come, announcing a $75,000 goal for the 2016 event.
“We have several new teams this year and have started with 33 total, just as we did last year. Our goal is $75,000 for this year’s walk, and I know with all the efforts of this community and the leaders we have, we can reach it,” Long said. “Obviously we are still looking for even more teams to join us and participate and we would like local companies to know we are looking for more teams to join. Local businesses may sponsor teams or donate or they could enter a team of their own, which would be even better.”
Baptist Easley CEO Michael Batchelor is the new Pickens County chairman, and Long said his ingenuity and drive were a positive for the event, spearheading initiatives to increase participation and bringing the walk itself to a more central location in the county.
The 2016 walk will be held April 30 at Easley High School, something Long said they have wanted to do for some time.
“Michael (Batchelor) helped us make that happen,” Long said. “Over the years we have been hosting the walk at the track at old Liberty High School, but Easley is a more central location and at the new high school will be a great place for us to host. Along with our effort to paint the county purple before the walk in April, the change to Easley as the location is going to help us grow this event even more.”
The format might have changed, but the goal remains the same: Teams raise money to help find a cure for cancer in all forms, with survivors and their families. Long feels the changes will go a long way in increasing exposure and helping raise much needed funds.
“I think any changes which we have brought into the walk for 2016 are all positive and will only help us reach our goal,” Long said. “There’s plenty of time between now and April and I know as a county we can do what needs to be done to reach our goal in our new location. There’s a lot of enthusiasm right now and we need to keep that going.”
Those interested in sponsoring or fielding a team or volunteering to help can contact Tracey Long at 706-491-0877 or by email at [email protected]
Reach D. C. Moody at 864-855-0355.