For the past seven years, Graycor has sponsored and participated in Relay For Life—the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) signature fundraising event that celebrates cancer survivors and raises donations to help fund cancer research. “Tailgate for a Cure” was the theme for this year’s Relay For Life held on June 8 and 9 at Willowcreek Middle School in Portage, Indiana, where Graycor’s team of nearly 30 employees, friends and family members outranked the 40 teams that participated.
Serving as team captain, Amber Smith, administrative assistant at Graycor Industrial, has managed Graycor’s participation and donations for the past seven Relay For Life events in Portage. Graycor’s donation to ACS this year totaled $9,854, just shy of the team’s goal of $10,000.
“I’m thankful to everyone who helped to make a difference and raised money so we can continue to fight and rise above this disease,” says Amber, who organized donations through a silent auction, candy bars sales and games at the event, as well as sponsorships obtained from vendors, local businesses, trade and union associations, and Graycor’s Community Fund Program, which donated $5,000.
The outdoor, 12-hour event, which began at 6 p.m. on Friday and ended at 6 a.m. on Saturday, included a survivors walk and honorary dinner, and luminaria ceremony to honor survivors and remember loved ones lost to cancer.
For her effort in raising the most donations as well as selling the most candy, Regan Smiley, engineer, was awarded ‘Champion of Relay’ which won her a night at the ballpark and a gift card. In addition, fellow engineer and team member Casey Kramer also won a gift card from being chosen a participatory drawing held at the event. Silent auction winners were Graycor employees: Ernie Anderson, Debbie Anthony, Pam Dudzik, David Hughes, Steve Sandberg, Caleb Smith and Mark Young.
“My favorite thing about Relay is seeing all the purple shirts every year and knowing so many are survivors—not victims of the disease, but survivors coming back year after year to celebrate, remember and fight back with others who share similar stories,” says Amber.