Purple Power weeks kick off Friday
by Marie Nesmith
Aug 21, 2014 | 1062 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the weeks leading up to Bartow’s Relay For Life, supporters will attempt to paint the downtowns of Adairsville and Cartersville purple. From Aug. 22 to Sept. 5, businesses are encouraged to raise awareness for the American Cancer Society benefit by decorating their storefronts.

“The purpose for the Purple Power [weeks] is we really bring attention to Relay For Life and really get the community involved because it is a community event,” said Peggy Davis, Relay For Life specialist for ACS’ South Atlantic Division. “Everyone kind of starts to get in Relay mode and kick it off the two weeks before Relay. ... Basically different businesses can enter in the Purple Power Storefront Display Contest and just become really creative in getting their Relay spirit on. They’ll put a display in their window or decorate their business purple for Relay.

“So it’s just to bring awareness to the cause. ... They can definitely come out to the event ... and support the teams and the fundraisers and still donate money,” she said, referring to the Relay event in September.

While all businesses can show their support through Relay for Life-related decorations, Davis said merchants need to sign up quickly to be eligible for the Purple Power Award and Stork Award. Businesses in Adairsville and Cartersville need to contact Sandy Couey at sandy.couey@gmail.com or Katie Murray at katiemurray@1stghm.com, respectively.

The money garnered on and prior to the Relay For Life overnight event on Sept. 5 will support the ACS, which provides information, offers programs to patients, and funds research for cancer treatments and cures. Months of fundraising will culminate with the benefit in which team members will take turns walking around Cartersville’s Dellinger Park track. In 2013, 101 teams generated $270,111 for the ACS. This year’s benefit is trying to recruit 102 teams and collect $280,000.

Passing away Aug. 3, Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt spearheaded Relay for Life in the mid-1980s.

According to http://www.relayforlife.org, “One person can make a difference. Nowhere is that more evident than the story of Dr. Gordy Klatt and the American Cancer Society Relay For Life event that started in Tacoma, Washington, as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer in 1985.

“In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Friends, family, and patients watched and supported him as he ran and walked more than 83.6 miles and raised $27,000 through pledges for the fight against cancer. As he circled the track, he thought of how he could get others to take part. He envisioned having teams participate in a 24-hour event to raise money to fight cancer. In 1986, 19 teams were part of the first relay event at the historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000.”

The website continued, “Gordy’s vision has grown into a nationwide event raising nearly $5 billion in fundraising to save lives from cancer. In addition, the American Cancer Society licenses 20 non-governmental cancer organizations in other countries to hold Relay For Life events to battle cancer across the globe.”

At the beginning of Bartow County’s event, cancer survivors will be treated to a complimentary dinner in which they will be served by medical professionals from The Hope Center and Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers P.C. While the survivors’ meals are free, they can bring a guest to dine with them for $10. Starting at 5 p.m., the dinner will be followed by the Cancer Survivor Group Lap at 7 p.m.

Along with participating in fundraisers at the Relay event, the public can partake in benefits prior to Sept. 5. For the month of August, two fundraisers are being promoted on www.bartowrelayforlife.org.

• High Heel Parade — Organized by Melissa & Co. Salon, the fourth annual High Heel Parade, which also will include vendors, entertainment and a pageant, will be held in downtown Cartersville Saturday, Aug. 23, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Additional details can be obtained by calling 770-386-2252 or viewing the High Heel Facebook page.

• Motorcycle Ride — On Saturday, Aug. 23, the ride will depart from Bojangles’, 459 E. Main St. in Cartersville, at 9 a.m. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Entrance fees will be a $25 donation for each rider and $15 per passenger. For more information, contact Louise Lane at llane430375@gmail.com.

For more information about upcoming fundraisers or how cancer survivors can pre-register for the Relay For Life dinner, visit www.bartowrelayforlife.org or contact Davis at 770-429-1624 or peggy.davis@cancer.org.