ST. JAMES, N.C. (WECT) – Members of the St. James Plantation’s Relay for Life team have earned the prestigious Hero of Research Award from the American Cancer Society, signifying them as one of the top three fundraising teams out of more than 19,000 across the United States in 2021.
The St. James team raised more than $210,000 for the Relay for Life. In earning the award, the team members received the chance to name an existing post-doctoral fellowship research grant in honor of a loved one or their team. They chose to name a research project at Stanford University as the St. James Community Research Project, helping researchers study the genetic determinants of immune evasion by metastatic lung cancer.
“The St. James team had several team members lose their battle with cancer during 2020 and 2021,” Liz Knapp, the chair of the team said in a news release. “Their passing heightened our desire to have meaningful impact. When we learned of the Hero of Research grant award, we knew immediately it was something we wanted to strive for. Cancer has affected too many in our community.”
According to the American Cancer Society, the St. James Plantation community has raised more than $2 million for ACS over the past 25 years. The the 46-member team sponsored virtual wine tastings and dinners, two 5K events, a golf tournament and a concert as just some of their fundraising activities during the pandemic-impacted year.
“The American Cancer Society was founded on a small group of people committed to saving lives,” said Rachel Urban, executive director for the American Cancer Society in central and eastern North Carolina. “One hundred and eight years later, St. James is proof that, despite many obstacles, cancer caregivers and families are the most powerful force. Nothing is off limits for this group. We are so grateful for this team, this community and this group of individuals.”
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