Okaloosa County's Relay for Life effort tops in nation

relay

Suzie O'Neill (FWB Relay), Krystal Jackson and Tracy Ward (Crestview Relay), Cal Brooks, Panhandle Area ACS Executive Director; Shelly Miller, Emerald Coast ACS Unit Board Chair; Trevia Bruckner Jean Grieve (Destin Relay), and Andrea Oliver, Scott Page (Niceville) display the plaques they received for raising the most per capita in the nation for the 2012 Relay for Life campaign.

Special to the Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 08:01 PM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Okaloosa County might not be the most populous part of the United States, but its fundraising capacity for cancer research is unsurpassed.

Officials with the American Cancer Society announced late Thursday afternoon that the four Relay for Life groups in the county raised the most money per capita in the nation in 2012.

“My main message today is thank you,” Cal Brooks, the Panhandle’s executive director for the American Cancer Society, said shortly after announcement. “This award, to me, says a lot … No one is ahead of y’all in this fight. No one.”

The Relay teams in Crestview, Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Niceville raised a combined $524,560 during their events last spring. They even made a few individual fundraising accomplishments, according to Shelly Miller, the operating chair for the American Cancer Society Emerald Coast.

View a slideshow of last year's Relay events. >>

Out of the more than 350 Relay teams in Florida, Crestview was ranked 24th in fundraising and Fort Walton Beach moved up to seventh place.

Those rankings helped push Okaloosa County to tops in the country for the first time. Most of the credit goes to the people who serve in volunteer leadership roles, Miller said. 



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