If reaching its 100th birthday wasn’t enough reason to celebrate, American Cancer Society (ACS) has even more cause to commemorate the occasion. The Beaumont Relay for Life event, held May 3 at Ozen High School raised more than $150,000 total, with Relay for Life team Survivor Jefferson County alone raising $32,096 for ACS.
The team is comprised of members that work in the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office, including Jamie Smith, who is office administrator and also serves as Beaumont City Councilmember for Ward IV.
“The cause is important,” Smith said. “Hopefully this hard work will get enough funds together so they’ll be able to fight cancer, eradicate it and save lives.”
Smith, who has participated in the relay for five years, said he knows first hand how cancer affects families, as his grandfather lost a battle with the disease. Smith said he is proud to be a part of the team.
“It’s always good to a part of something that is special like that to try and fight cancer,” he said.
Desirre Dickenson, Beaumont Relay for Life Co-chair, presented Smith and his fellow team members with a trophy as the top fundraising team. The team won the 2012 trophy as well.
“The money raised goes so far to help people get services that they would otherwise not have access to,” Dickenson said. “I think Councilman Smith does it out of the goodness of his heart, and he believes in the work that we’re doing.”
County Clerk Carolyn Guidry said her employees’ efforts included bake sales, a bowling tournament, a zumba event, a golf tournament, a concession stand at Ford Park and a fundraising tree in the office.
“I’m glad to see my office take part in such a worthy cause,” Guidry said. “I’m so very proud of them for taking such an active role. It’s giving back to the community and outside of the community as well because it just reaches out and touches so many people. If you’ve ever had a loved one who had cancer, you know what it is (like) to go through the process of chemo and radiation treatment. It’s good to have a support system.”
Guidry said her office plans to continue to take part in Relay for Life in the future.
“I hope we can continue to stay involved,” she said. “As long as I’m here, I certainly intend to stay active in the process as long as the office wants to continue to support it.”
The funds raised by Relay for Life not only go toward cancer research but also help honor survivors of the disease, Dickenson said.
“What is so awesome about relay is that it’s to honor our survivors,” she said. “We’re honoring them because they’re alive. This gives us hope that the work that we are doing is worth something.”
According to Relay for Life’s website, more than 5,200 communities in 20 different countries take part in Relay For Life, which is the signature fundraiser for ACS. For more information, visit www.relayforlife.org .