Cancer fund raising has seen record levels in Winnebago County and lower levels in Hancock County. While Winnebago County ranks third in the nation in per capita fund raising, surrounding counties are not at that point. Overall, giving is up in north Iowa which is a trend many Relay for Life Chairpersons want to see continue. What is missing to continue the wave is volunteers according to Linda Webner, Chair for Hancock County, and they are not coming in as much as they used to.
Much of it also has to do with time. For most, work, family, and children’s activities take up virtually the entire day. Putting time and effort into fund raising programs just isn’t available. Those who have retired are also very busy with taking care of grandkids, part time jobs, or other duties. So finding volunteers becomes especially difficult.
Relay programs have also come up with virtual fund raising which is done online. Teams of one or more can put together online pages or sites where everything is done almost automatically. This is all done with very little effort by the virtual team.
Youth is another major focus for volunteers. While the youth movement is strong is some parts of Iowa, it could be stronger in Hancock and Winnebago Counties. This presents a challenge for leadership in the area counties.
Despite the situation, area youth are coming forward, and not solely through the highly successful Coaches vs. Cancer programs during the high school sports season.
For Hancock County, time is running short because less than one month from now, the Hancock County Relay for Life event will be taking place. On June 9th, all teams will gather to collectively raise money in the fight against cancer. Winnebago County will have theirs on June 24th.