The event is to benefit Relay for Life, which is the American Cancer Society’s largest annual fundraiser. More than 5,000 communities across the country host relays each summer, drawing roughly 3.5 million volunteers , who form teams, pledge to raise at least $100, and celebrate cancer survivors by walking the relay track during the overnight event.
Morrison’s team is called Friends Who Care, and it’s one of 28 teams from across the region who are participating in Ayer’s Relay this June.
Having hosted several other fundraisers this spring, Morrison’s team has already raised $9,425 for the Ayer rally — twice as much as the next leading team. While that’s almost all of the team’s initial goal of $10,000, Morrison had the big picture in mind, and was clearly motivated to help the Ayer event reach its target of $85,000.
“(We’ve raised) $40,178 currently,” she said. “I think we’ll make it.”
Morrison will be increasingly involved with the big-picture aspects of the Ayer Relay in coming months, after being named co-chairman of the 2011 event, alongside Ayer resident Brittany Clark.
The duo was chosen on May 20 to succeed Relay stalwarts Amy Messcher and Chris Francis, who stepped aside after three years of coordinating the Ayer Relay.
A Townsend resident and graduate student who is working toward a career as a financial planner, Morrison has been very active with the Ayer Relay over the past year, ranking third among individual fundraisers with just over $2,000 to her credit. It’s her first year with the Ayer Relay, but she previously was involved with a couple of relays in Nashua.
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community based health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem, through a combination of prevention, research, advocacy and service.
Morrison explained her commitment to that cause by noting her grandfather died from cancer at age 43, saying she never got to meet him. She added that virtually everyone has been similarly impacted by the disease, saying she wants to be out there doing something about it.
Looking ahead, Morrison said she’s hoping to gather many new ideas for Relay in the coming year, added more help is always welcome,
“We’re looking for committee members — team captains or people who just want to join a team from any neighboring community,” she said. “It basically anyone who wants to help out.”
The Ayer Relay will start at 6 p.m. on June 18 and will run though noon the next day. It will be held at the Ayer High School athletic track.