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Local Relay for Life wins national honors

November 18, 2008

The American Cancer Society has announced that the Relay For Life of Washington County received both regional and national honors at the recent Relay University, which was held Oct. 25-26 in Falls Church, Va.

Event co-chairs Keith Grossnickle and Tom Sweeney Jr. were on hand to receive the South Atlantic Division Region 11 "Spirit of Relay" award as well as national "All-American Relay" honors.

The "Spirit of Relay" award is given to the best overall Relay in the division, encompassing mission activities, survivor activities, a luminaria ceremony, entertainment, themes and decorations, as well as regular newsletters to communicate with all Relay volunteers.

Region 11 of the South Atlantic Division covers the majority of the state of Maryland. This year's Relay exceeded goals with 52 teams and 600 participants raising $136,160.

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The "All-American Relay" award recognizes Relay For Life events that are implementing best practices for participation growth and showing that community mobilization is key to a successful event.

One of the best practices for which the Washington County Relay has gained recognition is the annual Valentine Survivor Reception held each February, which honors survivors as the "heart" of Relay, complete with a potluck dinner provided by Relay committee members, Valentine-themed decorations, boutonnieres and corsages, door prizes and entertainment.

Next year's Relay For Life of Washington County will be held on Friday, June 19, at Hagerstown Fairgrounds Park.

A Relay kickoff event will be on Sunday, Jan. 25.

For more information, call 301-733-8272 or go to www.wacorelayforlife.org.

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