Relay for Life raises $2.4M

LAWRENCEVILLE - It's official: Once again, Gwinnett's Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society has broken its previous fundraising records.

By the time the American Cancer Society's Gwinnett chapter closed its books for the year on Thursday, this year's total had crept past $2.4 million, said Randy Redner, area director for the society. It's a $200,000 increase from last year's record-breaking total of

$2.2 million.

"We are really excited and, of course, excited for the community and what this means," Redner said.

The goal for this year's fundraiser was $2.5 million. Gwinnett's Relay for Life event has historically been the nation's largest.

This year's Relay for Life event also set a record by drawing more cancer survivor participants - 1,768 survivors registered - than ever before.

"We consider that the largest gathering of survivors for a celebration in the world," Redner said.

More than 10,000 people attended the annual event. The top three fundraising teams were Scientific-Atlanta with $125,000 in donations, Primerica with $121,000 in donations and Norcross High School with a whopping $113,000.

Next year's Relay for Life event has already been scheduled for May 11 and 12 at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, and the Web site should be up and running for registration by October, Redner said.

Next on the American Cancer Society's agenda is the annual Crusader's Ball Against Cancer. The 32nd annual ball is scheduled for Nov. 4 at the Gwinnett Place Marriott. To purchase tickets, visit www.crusadersball.com.

For more information on upcoming American Cancer Society events, call the local American Cancer Society office at 770-814-0123 or visit www.gwinnettrelayforlife