Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Relay For Life Music

During Relay For Life events, you all do a great job of celebrating survivorship and the hope that one day cancer will be eliminated. You also remember loved ones lost to the disease while finding comfort and healing.

Both of these emotionally charged elements are visually symbolized through the Survivors Lap and Luminaria Ceremony. The Relay For Life website offers suggestions on the music you can use during these significant moments in your event.

Survivors Lap
Upbeat, energetic music plays loudly as survivors dance and celebrate their way around the track. Anyone who has ever heard the words “you have cancer” has the opportunity to celebrate their life and their survivorship at Relay.

Luminaria Ceremony
The Luminaria Ceremony is for remembrance and hope. It symbolizes a time to grieve for those we have lost, to reflect on our own cancer experience or that of those closest to us, and to find hope that tomorrow holds the promise of a cancer-free world. There should be no music or speakers during the first half of this lap. As walkers reach the halfway point, it is recommended that a poem is read. After the poem, a song selection is suggested.

Check out all of the Relay For Life Ceremony Music Suggestions and good luck with your event!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Double Your Fundraising Efforts!

We can’t wait to see you all at the upcoming Arizona Relay For Life events! And we can’t thank you enough for lending your time and energy to help create a world with less cancer and More Birthdays!!

As we head into Relay season, we want to make sure that you know of a quick and easy way to double fundraising for your event.

Ask all of your donors to check with their employers to see if they will match a gift to the American Cancer Society. They can even check online by visiting and enter their company name. If their company does match, the information and guidelines are there.

Many companies offer matching gift programs to encourage employees to contribute to charitable organizations. Most of these programs match contributions dollar for dollar, and some will even double or triple the amount of your gift! Donors may not think to ask their employers, and a friendly reminder from you could go a long way toward increasing your donations!

Log into your Participant Center on your event's website and email anyone who has donated to you already asking them to check with their employer and help you double their gift.

If you still need to register for a Relay in your area, please sign up and join us!

Friday, March 26, 2010

How Can YOU Help ACS Save Lives and Fight Cancer?

You can join the movement for more birthdays and fight back against cancer by enrolling in a new research study called the Cancer Prevention Study - 3 (CPS-3).

The American Cancer Society’s Epidemiology Research Program is inviting men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 years who have no personal history of cancer to join this historic research study. The ultimate goal is to enroll 500,000 adults from various racial/ethnic backgrounds from across the U.S.

By joining CPS-3, you can help us understand how to prevent cancer, which will save lives and give people more of their most precious resource: time. More time with their families and friends, more memories, more celebrations...and more birthdays.

Arizona Location of Enrollment:

Relay For Life of Quad Cities Community
June 11, 2010
Prescott High School
1050 Ruth Street
Prescott, AZ 86301
Enrollment Hours: 6:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Enrollment: Individuals who are between the ages of 30-65, who have never been diagnosed with cancer, and are willing to commit to the study long term, can enroll at various venues across the United States and Puerto Rico. For those venues that are Relay For Life events, individuals do not have to be registered Relay participants to enroll.

Volunteering: Volunteers are needed to help with the enrollment area at the various venues.

Promotion: Tell everyone you know about this one-time historic opportunity to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

Education: Tell friends and family around the country to visit or call 888-604-5888 to obtain more information about this study and how they can become involved in their own local community. View the complete list of CPS-3 study enrollment locations.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Have Fun With Team Fundraising

As a Relay For Life Team Captain, your three main focuses are: Set Goals, Get Donations, and Encourage and Support your team with TEAM FUNDRAISING. This is where your full team puts together an activity or event to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

There are any number of other team fundraising ideas – but we’ve found that those fundraising activities that focus on things people spend money on anyway are most successful. For example – food sales, movie nights, collecting used prom dresses and reselling them… The sky’s the limit.

Here are a few other suggestions for team fundraising activities:
  • Car Window Washes – Teams can wash car windows at fast food restaurant drive through windows.
  • Dime-A-Dance (at event) – Provide music at your campsite. Have other people pay to dance with your team members.
  • Envelopes at Restaurant Tables – Teams generate donations by placing a Relay For Life envelope at every table, stating “Please Support Our Relay For Life Team and the American Cancer Society.” Waitresses check envelopes after each seating.
  • Vacation Day – If you are on a team with your co-workers, ask your boss if they can offer a bonus day off for the team member that raises the most money.

  • Remember to check out the Team Captain Toolkit for additional resources. Good luck and thank you to all of the Relay Team Captains and participants for supporting the American Cancer Society's mission!

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    Fundraising Forum and Relay For Life

    The Relay For Life forums offer a great way to find information about Relay and ask your fellow volunteers questions about how they are handling their events. The Fundraising Forum is also great place to ask questions and discover new fundraising ideas that have been successful for other Relay teams.

    You can find topics on fundraisers that range from selling candles and t-shirts to managing online auctions and working with local companies for various fundraising activities.

    Remember to adhere to the Relay For Life Fundraising Guidelines below. If you have any questions, please contact your Relay For Life Team Recruitment Chair or American Cancer Society Staff Partner.
    We Cannot Sell …
    • Anything with American Cancer Society or Relay For Life logo and/or name on it. (Example, items purchased from the Relay Gear catalog)
    • Items that can be purchased from or returned to a store, vendor, or the internet.

    • But, We Can Sell …
      • Homemade cookbooks (with Team Name only)
      • Handmade holiday crafts
      • Baked goods
      • In Honor, In Memory, and In Support of Sun and Moon Donation Cards (See your Team Recruitment Chair or American Cancer Society Staff Partner)
      • Services (car washes, yard work, house cleaning, etc.)
      • Activities (bowling, skate parties, trivia nights, etc.)
      • Garage/Yard Sales

      • The Relay For Life site is available to you 24/7 to make sure you have all of the information you need for a successful event. Thanks so much for your support of Relay For Life and good luck to you and your team!

        Tuesday, March 23, 2010

        Survivors And Caregivers Celebrated At Relay

        Survivors are the reason we Relay.

        A survivor is anyone who has ever heard the words “You have cancer.” And we invite all cancer survivors in the community to attend Relay For Life.

        Our goal is to create a world where more people survive cancer – so they can celebrate another birthday. This year more than 11 million people will be able to do that thanks to the support of millions of dedicated Relay participants.

        Most Relays open with the Survivors Lap where survivors lead the way around the track while being honored and applauded by all participants. The Survivors Lap is an inspirational and emotional example of how Relay participants are ensuring that more lives are saved each year.

        We also recognize and celebrate caregivers at Relay For Life. These individuals give their time, love, and support to friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers who face cancer. At Relay, people understand the frustrations and joys of being a caregiver, since the effects of cancer reach far beyond just the person diagnosed.

        Anyone can participate in Relay For Life. Friends, families, neighbors, classmates, sports teams, etc., can form their own teams. No matter who you are, there’s a place for you at Relay.

        Find a Relay near you and join us.

        Monday, March 22, 2010

        There's Still Time!!

        In just a few weeks, our Arizona communities will come together for their American Cancer Society Relay For Life events.

        If you’ve never experienced Relay before, get ready for a life-changing event where we CELEBRATE the lives of those who have battled cancer, REMEMBER loved ones lost to the disease, and express our commitment to FIGHT BACK until cancer no longer affects us or those we love.

        Can you think of a few friends who might like to join your Relay team this year? It’s not too late to invite them! Be sure to let them know that there is still plenty of time to raise money for Relay, and that it couldn’t be easier with our online tools that do most of the work for you.

        Log in to your Participant Center and invite anyone who might like to join your Relay team today. Be sure to let them know why YOU choose to Relay, and that by getting involved, they will help save lives and create more birthdays!

        We believe that this year’s events will be our biggest and best ever thanks to the hard work of Relayers like you. You can help ensure this by inviting new friends to join your team today and don’t forget to keep asking for donations!

        Let’s see how much more we can do together in the coming weeks! Good luck to you and your team and check the ACS in Arizona blog daily for helpful Relay tips!

        Friday, March 19, 2010

        A Night To Remember

        Your success as a volunteer fundraiser for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life is nothing short of remarkable. In the midst of challenging economic times, more than 3.5 million of you in 5,000 communities across the country raised more than $409 million last year through Relay For Life. You are defying the odds, and together we are saving lives.

        Relay For Life is always an unforgettable evening, especially as we remember our loved ones lost to cancer. For those of us who have lost anyone we love to the disease, the night has special significance and offers a way to help find healing.

        Whether you’ve experienced cancer firsthand or through the struggle of a loved one, we know that your reason for supporting the American Cancer Society Relay For Life is as unique as your own story. Every dollar you raise truly makes a difference, and helps the American Cancer Society continue its efforts to save lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures, and fighting back against cancer.

        If you haven't signed up yet, please find a Relay near you and join us!

        One of the most touching events of the evening is the luminaria ceremony where we remember those we have lost. Below is a video of the luminaria ceremony at Relay for Life Lake Mary/Heathrow, Florida.

        Wednesday, March 17, 2010

        Relay For Life e-Community Forum

        On the Relay For Life website, there is a great Relay Community Forum tool that helps you to communicate and share with volunteers across the Relay nation. You can ask questions, share your photos, ideas, stories and more. The forum topics are organized in alphabetical order making it easy for you to find information or post questions on a specific topic.

        There are separate sections that include the following:

        Relay eCommunity Forum - Here you can find posts about activities at different Relays, planning a fight back ceremony and even general "chit chat".

        Site Feedback - You can be a part of the development of the Relay For Life eCommunity. Submit your feedback and tell us what you think- classify your comments according to content, navigation and design.

        Special Relay Events - Under here you can find miscellaneous topics including a "Swap Shop" If your Relay has supplies, theme decorations, etc. that you aren't using anymore, and are willing to ship to another Relay...or if you're looking for stuff that other Relays might be able to share - here's the place to discuss.

        You need to log in to post a new forum topic. A few tips when posting:
        • Give your post a very specific title like "What music should I use for survivor lap" or similar so people can recognize your question and respond quickly. You will be asked to choose from a drop down menu for which category your post belongs in. Again, be specific so you have a better chance of receiving feedback.
        • When you create a Forum topic, your topic shows up under the "Last Post" column on the right side under your the forum topic that you selected from the drop down menu.
        • You can always go back in to edit your post or delete it if needed. Create Forum Topics about issues, frustrations and suggestions and use your Relay blog to talk about Relay experiences, like a diary.

        • Good luck with your Relay and thank you for all you are doing to create a world with Less Cancer and More Birthdays!

          Friday, March 12, 2010

          An Email A Day Can Save Lives

          You signed up for the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life because you know you have the power to help save lives by fighting back against cancer, and by providing hope and comfort to everyone facing the disease.

          Every step you take and every dollar you raise through Relay takes us one step closer to a world where cancer can’t steal another year from anyone’s life.

          Can you think of 2 friends, coworkers, or family members who share your commitment to fighting back against cancer, yet haven’t been involved with Relay For Life? Maybe it’s a friend who has faced cancer, or a coworker who has lost a loved one to the disease.

          As you think of others that might like to be involved in the fight against cancer, just log in to your Participant Center (on your local event's Relay page) and send them an email. Your Participant Center keeps track of everyone you’ve sent emails to, and will show you anyone who has yet to make a donation to support your efforts.

          We can’t thank you enough for choosing to Relay this year. Relay For Life is a success thanks to each and every one of you and the time and energy you devote to help the American Cancer Society save lives.

          If you are not signed up yet, you can find a Relay near you and join us in the fight against cancer!

          Thursday, March 11, 2010

          Fundraising At Your Relay Event

          At Relay, teams can raise money at their campsite. The idea is to create a game/activity or have something donated and then team members promote your on-site activity to raise more money for your team. Be creative and play off your team theme! At some Relay events, these on-site activities are included in the program book so make sure to share ideas at your team meeting!

          On-site Fundraising is The Icing on the Cake -- Your team should aim to raise most of your goal prior to the event. You’re encouraged to do on-site fundraising at Relay For Life, but it shouldn’t take the place of your pre-event efforts.

          The Relay For Life Team Captain Toolkit has several suggestions for on-site fundraising activities, but here a few fun ideas to get you thinking:

        • DUNK TANKS, INFLATABLE BOUNCE HOUSES, AND CLIMBING WALLS -- Utilizing these activities on-site as fundraisers is permissible, just make sure the operator is properly licensed and insured.
          • FORTUNE TELLING -- Look into a crystal ball and tell participants their fortune for a donation!
            • GENERAL STORE -- Have extra campsite supplies available for a donation for people who did not come prepared or forgot something (toothbrushes/toothpaste, extra socks, toilet paper, flashlight, bug spray, sunscreen, baby wipes).
              • HOLLYWOOD SNAPSHOT! -- Get a cardboard cut-out of a famous person and have your picture taken for a donation.
                • GLOW GEAR -- When the sun goes down sell glow in the dark bracelets, necklaces, glow sticks.

                • Do you have a fun on-site fundraising idea to share? Go ahead and post your ideas on this blog - we'd love to hear from you!

                  Wednesday, March 10, 2010

                  Online Resources For Your Relay For Life

                  The Relay For Life website contains several resources for helping you manage and execute your Relay event.

                  There is a special section in the Training and Resources area called Online Resources.

                  Here you will find videos that walk you through a variety of steps including how to:
                    • Register Online
                    • Donate Online
                    • Manage Your Personal Participant Center (this is the home base for all your activity)
                    • Update your Personal Page (including adding photos and your reason to Relay)
                    • Send Emails to Friends and Family
                    • Fundraise for your event using Facebook
                    You can view the videos at any time, pause and backup the videos if needed as it takes you step by step through all of the above topics.

                    There are also help documents that you can print out as a reference for how to :
                    • Sign Up. Set Up. Send
                    • Handling Online/Offline Donations
                    • Manage Your Personal Page's Blog
                    • Dedicate a Luminaria
                    • Use Social Networking to Enhance Your Relay Efforts
                    If you haven't registered for a Relay yet, click here to find a Relay near you and join us!

                    GOOD LUCK to all of you Relayers and thank you for your support. You ARE making a difference.

                    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

                    Making the "Ask" For Relay Sponsorship

                    There are many factors that will contribute to your Relay’s success when approaching a potential sponsor. The first is finding the right person to make the ask! When looking for a committee member to ask local businesses for participation in your event’s sponsorship program, identify a volunteer who:
                    • Has good contacts
                    • Is willing to make the call
                    • Understands your program

                    • This person should be:
                      • Enthusiastic
                      • Willing to ask for money

                      • Knowing how to tell your story contributes to your success when requesting sponsorship. Here are a few things to keep in mind when asking potential sponsors for their support:
                        • Share your personal story or your experience with cancer in a passionate way
                        • Be persuasive, but not pushy
                        • Be knowledgeable about the American Cancer Society and how it benefits your community

                        • Make sure that your potential sponsor understands the benefits and recognition opportunities including promotion on banners at the event as well as on the event programs and T-shirts.

                          There are several support materials online to help you with your event including the Team Captain Learning Modules and the Fundraising Development Guidebook.

                          Good luck in planning and executing your event and thank you for all you do to support the American Cancer Society's mission to create a world with Less Cancer and More Birthdays!!

                          Monday, March 8, 2010

                          New Relay For Life Social Media Application

                          Now you can gain access to Relay For Life updates, cancer in the news, and other information from the American Cancer Society...right from your desktop!

                          The "Relay For Life PAL" allows you to integrate your social networking sites. You won't need to log into all of your accounts anymore – and you will no longer have to search the headlines for the latest info – its all delivered to you by your Relay For Life widget.

                          The Relay For Life desktop widget is a 100% free application that runs on Adobe AIR and is compatible with Windows, Apple and Linux Systems.

                          Check it out and let me know what you think!

                          Friday, March 5, 2010

                          Quick Tips For Team Captains

                          For all of you Relay Team Captains, thanks so much for your hard work and for your continued support of American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. I wanted to share a few online 'Quick Tips' that can help you with your team's fundraising:
                          • Make sure when your online chairs are sending event level emails to send themselves a test email first to ensure that all imbedded links are working
                            • Participants can raise their personal goals they set at registration by scrolling to the bottom of their participant center homepage and putting in a new goal if they are getting close
                              • Remind your online chairs to use all of the resources and handouts available for them on ManageMyRelay!

                              • Good luck to you and your team and please check back daily for more Relay tips!

                                Thursday, March 4, 2010

                                10 Easy Ways To Raise $250

                                From top Relay For Life teams across the country, we have learned that you can make virtually any type of fundraiser successful by applying the following strategies:

                                -Understand your community and try to identify something might be of value/interest to them.
                                -Publicize fundraisers heavily - the more people who are aware, the greater the likelihood of success
                                -Undertake your fundraiser with great enthusiasm. Your enthusiasm is contagious!!

                                The Relay For Life site and Team Captain Toolkit offer all kinds of fundraising tips including "10 Easy Ways To Raise $250". Below are a few suggestions:
                                1. Donate $20 yourself and ask four friends for $20 each
                                2. Ask 20 friends to donate $5 each
                                3. Ask 10 friends to donate $10 each
                                4. Send a letter to family and friends, explaining what Relay is and ask them to support you with a donation. Be sure to include a due date of when you need their donation.

                                5. Have you Relayed before? Please share any of your fundraising tips and ideas on this blog.

                                  If you haven't already registered, please find a Relay near you and join us!!

                                  Wednesday, March 3, 2010

                                  Relay For Life Podcasts

                                  The American Cancer Society has published a Relay For Life podcast that is available on the RelayForLife website and on iTunes.

                                  This is a great way for team captains, team members, and volunteers to find interviews, tutorials, trainings, and discussions on Relay For Life that can help you plan and execute your Relay fundraising events.

                                  For example, you will find a series specifically dedicated to planning your Fight Back Ceremony. The sections within this podcast cover how to plan a Fight Back ceremony that is inspirational, motivational, and can empower your volunteers to fight back against cancer year-round.

                                  Other podcast topics include:

                                  Check them out and let me know if you found them helpful or if you have any suggestions for additional topics.

                                  Tuesday, March 2, 2010

                                  Use the ABCs of Fundraising

                                  Good news Relayers! A document has been added to the Relay For Life website that will help teams come up with ideas for pre-Relay event fundraisers.

                                  The ABC's of Fundraising can be found in the Relay Library as well as the Team Captain Toolkit.

                                  If you do all of your fundraising prior to Relay For Life, you can eliminate the hassle of collecting pledges after the event. Each team member is encouraged to set a minimum goal of raising $100 plus registration fee.

                                  There are a ton of great fundraising ideas in the Team Captain Toolkit for both the team and the individual to help you meet your goals. Be creative, have fun, and ask everyone you know or meet to help support your effort.

                                  Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

                                  A) Auctions of All Kinds – Auction off a prime parking space at work
                                  B) “Boss for the Day” – Allow people to bid on being boss for a day – high bid wins
                                  C) Change Jar – Keep a change jar in high traffic areas. All change is donated to your team fundraising totals
                                  D) Dress Down Day – Ask every employee to contribute to your Relay team, and in return they will be allowed to “dress down” on a specified day at work

                                  Have other fundraising ideas that you'd like to share? Please post! We'd love to hear from you.

                                  Monday, March 1, 2010

                                  Relay Team Captain Tip: Letter Writing

                                  As a team captain, your job is to build your team, motivate and coach them to participate and raise funds to make your Relay event a success. You'll want to set a team fundraising goal of at least $100/person or $1000 for the team. Four to six weeks before your Relay event, make sure to put aside some time for letter writing - and remind your team to do this as well.

                                  Compose a one-page letter that includes the following:
                                  • Why you are involved and what Relay means to you
                                  • Details of your event (when, where, what to expect)
                                  • Describe the luminaria ceremony and how they may purchase one
                                  • Encourage readers to find out about gift matching from their employer
                                  • Include a luminaria receipt and a luminaria sign up form at the bottom of your letter/email

                                  • Make your donation request early in your letter and send to everyone who has ever sent you something. For emails, enter the recipient emails in the blind copy (bcc) space -- you don't need your entire list seeing who you sent your email to.

                                    You can find more helpful tips like these in the Team Captain Toolkit.

                                    PS. You can keep your team excited and motivated by sharing the ABC's of Fundraising on a regular basis! For example: A: Anti-Complaint Day - charge co-workers $1 for each time they complain about anything.