"For anyone that's had their lives touched by cancer it's a good way to fight back and make a difference," says Curtis Campbell, chair for the 2010 Lower Valley Relay for Life fundraiser.
Campbell says that the relay's number of registered teams and participants are down from the typical numbers that relay officials see.
He notes there are 27 teams with a total of 210 participants registered so far, well back of the average relay of 33 teams and 300 or so individuals.
Add to that the fact corporate sponsorships are down by $10,000 to $15,000, and it's apparent the 2010 relay could use a shot in the arm.
To that end, Campbell is encouraging teams to form and register by this Friday, April 16, so they can be assured of receiving the event's signature t-shirt.
Due to budget constraints Campbell said the Lower Valley relay, unlike previous years, can only order about an extra 10 percent of the shirts above the number of registered participants.
All of which means there will be some disappointed relay participants if they don't get registered by this Friday.
Registration, at a fee of $150 per team, can be done on the internet at www.relayforlife.org/grandviewwa or by calling Campbell directly at 840-5750.
He said corporate sponsorships are needed. Individual donations can also be made by going to the website or calling Campbell.
He said teams should plan on having enough members so that participants can take breaks during the 24-hour relay from 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, to 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 16.
Campbell says he doesn't know why registrations are lagging, noting it perhaps has something to do with the sluggish economy.
Even so, he says cancer research must go forward and money must be raised through the relay to make it happen.
"Cancer doesn't have a recession," he says. "Just because we have a tough economy doesn't mean we can't support ACS research."
The relay is the American Cancer Society's (ACS) largest fundraiser and it is the number one non-profit fundraiser in the world.
As always, the Lower Valley relay in Grandview will feature entertainment, food and even bouncy houses for the kids.
Campbell noted that all of the money raised through the relay goes to cancer research. The event relies on volunteer help and there is no overhead, he added.
He called on the entire Lower Valley to join the cause and rally around the relay.
"It doesn't matter if you live in Grandview or Prosser or Sunnyside," Campbell said. "It's a Lower Valley thing and we need to band together to find a cure."