Saturday, November 28, 2015 • 06:55

Volunteers needed for Relay For Life Valley Center

Walkers are pulled along by their keen canines during September's Bark For Life, during which $16,000 was raised. Photo by Michael Crane / Valley Roadrunner
October 31, 2013
Relay For Life of Valley Center is currently recruiting committee members for the 2014 event to be held June 21-22, 2014 at Bates Nut Farm.

Valley Center's first Relay For Life event was held in August of 2011, said Sharon Briscoe, who served as chairperson in 2012 and 2013 and is volunteering as community marketing chair for the 2014 Relay.

"There were four teams, seven survivors and only 16 participants. More than $2,500 was raised at that first event that was started by Sarah Mason, staff partner with the American Cancer Society (ACS)," she said.

According to Briscoe, there were only a few volunteers that first year; most were recruited through the Chamber of Commerce in Valley Center.

Fundraising increased by nearly 2,200 percent during the 2012 Relay For Life, with more than $57,000 raised by the 425 participants who made up 17 teams. Seventy-seven survivors also took part in the 24-hour event to remember loved ones, celebrate survivorship and raise money for the fight against cancer.

Popularity of the event continues to grow — earlier this year raising over $85,000 with an additional $16,000 from the event's newest fundraiser, Bark For Life, held in September. Organizers say that 2014 will be bigger and better than ever.

"Relay For Life raises awareness about the progress against cancer while also raising funds to fight the disease," said Briscoe. "Individuals who are willing to give their time and energy to this exciting event, as a volunteer or participant, have made a commitment to fight back against cancer and let the community know that cancer can be beat."

Teams will gather with tents and sleeping bags at Bates Nut Farm for a one-of-a-kind relay experience where they will spend 24-hours participating in what ACS calls "the largest fundraising walk in the nation." Relay For Life unites people from all walks of life with the common goal of helping to find a cure for cancer.

"The Relay For Life is a 24-hour event; teams spend the night and someone from each team should be on the track at all times," Briscoe said. "This concept was conceived with the notion that cancer never sleeps so why should we?"

Briscoe said the committee consists of committed and talented individuals.

"Some have experience in entertainment, accounting, marketing, event planning, social media and most of all a passion and commitment to fundraise so that we can find a cure," she said. "Additionally our goal is to create awareness about the programs and services that the American Cancer Society provides."

Volunteers are needed to organize and recruit teams, seek community support, coordinate logistics, find refreshments and prizes, plan entertainment and lend their support in any way.

If you would like to volunteer for the Valley Center Relay For Life Valley Center planning committee or to sign up a team, contact Team Development Chair Michelle Wick by email at or Cindy Swayze at

"I am so very proud of our committee, team captains and numerous volunteers, most of all this community has come together to make a difference. In just a short time the Relay For Life Valley Center is one of the top Relays in our Region," Briscoe said, noting there are nearly 100 other Relays in the region. "Our goal for 2014 is to raise $100,000!"

Visit or for more information. For information on the American Cancer Society and its programs, call the 24-hour hotline at (800) 227-2345.

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