Poff ‘excited’ about 2018 Relay For Life

Published 1:41 am Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A fire that started over 16 years ago continues to burn bright for Jessica Poff.
Whether it was as a volunteer or member of the American Cancer Society, preparing for the annual Relay For Life season has never lost excitement for Carter County’s newest staff partner.
Poff made her way to Elizabethton Tuesday to share news about the 2018 Relay For Life and continue educating the public about the different opportunities available when it comes to combating cancer.
“As a staff partner, this is one of my new areas,” Poff told the Elizabethton Star. “During my time with the American Cancer Society, I’ve actually been able to meet some of the Carter County volunteers, so it is great to see some familiar faces. Everyone has been so welcoming to new ideas and seem excited about the upcoming Relay For Life.”
Poff sat down with the Elizabethton Star at the Edward Jones Office of Curt Alexander and shared that this year will be about reenergizing the public when it comes to Relay For Life, which first started in 1985.
“It has grown to over 6000 events around the world,” Poff said. “But we got to the point where we were doing the same things, year after year, and there wasn’t a lot of fresh excitement.”
The goal for 2018, according to Poff, is to help educate the public about the services provided by the American Cancer Society, which is the second largest funder of cancer research in the country, outside the government.
“There’s $8 million worth of research going on just in Tennessee,” Poff said. “And that’s coming through St. Jude’s, Vanderbilt and we recently had a grant come through ETSU … and that’s just research. We also have free services available to the public, so our goal is to keep the public informed about what’s available.”
For fresh ideas, regular “Relayers” will be in for a treat in 2018 with the Carter County Relay For Life taking place at TCAT – Elizabethton.
“We moved the event to TCAT last year due to rain,” Poff said. “I was actually at Greene County working an event during Carter County’s Relay, but the weather impacted everyone. We’re so thankful of the school’s support of letting us hold Relay For Life at T.A. Dugger and the Elizabethton High School. We’re moving it to TCAT to help accommodate everyone and make the walks not as long for our survivors.”
Pending weather, this year’s event, tentatively scheduled in June, will have a beach party theme, and will incorporate both the inside and outside of TCAT.
But as plans continue to formulate, Poff added the county is seeking residents to come forward.
Representatives from Carter County Relay For Life will hold their 2018 kickoff on Thursday, Jan. 18, at Medical Care in Elizabethton beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Poff added the event will be available throughout the evening but information will be readily available for those who are unable to stay through the entirety of the event.
“We’re looking for ideas, teams, volunteers, there’s so much available and we’re excited about engaging the public to be part of it,” Poff said.
To learn more about how to get involved, contact Poff at jessica.poff@cancer.org or visit the Carter County Relay For Life page.

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