Tara Miller (center), Lourdes vice president and chief philanthropy officer, accepts the American Cancer Society's award on behalf of Lourdes hospital's Relay For Life team from Pam Dotson (right), chief operating officer for Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society, and Samantha Taylor (left), senior director of Relay For Life Mid-South Division, at Lourdes Dancing With Our Stars on March 23. Lourdes' relay team fundraising efforts were recognized among the top 5 teams worldwide.
Topping the charts at home and across the world, Lourdes hospital Relay For Life Team was recognized as the No. 1 relay team in Kentucky and No. 4 worldwide.
Out of 182,000 Relay For Life Teams and 5,000 relay events in 22 countries, Lourdes’ team holds the No. 4 fundraising ranking for two consecutive years, giving the American Cancer Society more than $452,000 in that span.
Lourdes’ relay team was also recognized as the No. 2 fundraising team in the Mid-South Division for two consecutive years, and the first fundraising team in the state for a fourth straight year.
The team owes its success to the community-supported Lourdes Dancing With Our Stars, started in 2007. Since the dance competition’s beginnings, the annual gala event has raised more than $750,000 for cancer research.
“This overwhelming support from our community has well-exceeded my expectations,” said Rita Bailey, Lourdes relay team captain.
“We have such wonderful support from our sponsors, volunteers, including all the dancers and instructors, who give of their time.”
Stephanie Elder, area director for the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society, said the success of fundraising events like Dancing With Our Stars has made it possible for researchers to make strides in the fight against cancer.
“Together with the support of Lourdes hospital and its Relay For Life Team volunteers we will finish the fight and make this cancer’s last century,” Elder said.
Relay For Life, started in 1985, is the cancer society’s signature fundraising event and has raised more than $4 billion to fight cancer. This year marks the 100th birthday for the society.
The 17th annual McCracken County Relay For Life will be May 31 at Carson Park.