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Relay For Life – Where does your money go?

            Local Relay For Life volunteers and committee members are often asked “Where does my money go when I donate to the American Cancer Society?”

            Relay donations are part of 99 percent of all funds received by ACS, according to the web site All sources include special events, personal gifts, corporate gifts and bequests. The remaining 1 percent comes from grants and contracts from government agencies and income from investments.

            The quickest answer to where the money goes is 75 cents of every dollar goes to program services including cancer research, patient support, prevention, information and education and detection and treatment.

The remaining 25 cents of the dollar funds supporting services including management and general expenses and fundraising expenses.

A year-end look at how donations helped save lives every day shows how the money is spent.

Program Services

  • Cancer Research – $151 million
  • Patient Support – $348 million
  • Prevent, Information and Education – $123 million
  • Detection and Treatment – $87 million

Supporting Services

  • Management and General Expenses – $52 million
  • Fundraising Expenses – $180 million

The biggest chunk of change is going to help patients. ACS statistics show 1 million requests were received from people seeking information and support; 267,000 nights of free lodging were given at ACS Hope Lodge facilities; 50,265 patients received help to navigate through the health care system; 10,990 peer support services were provided to breast cancer patients; and 34,470 people were helped with appearance-related side effects of treatment.

Cancer research also fights cancer with $95 million for cancer research grants and $4.5 billion invested in research since 1946. ACS supports 800 grantees at any given time throughout the country and 1,000 web users download the comprehensive publication of cancer data “Cancer Facts & Figures” every day.

ACS records a 23 percent decline in United States cancer death rates since 1991 when 251 of every 100,000 persons died of cancer. In 2012, the death rate fell to 166.4 of every 100,000 persons. That’s a total of 1.7 million fewer cancer deaths.

            “Your donation does make a difference in the fight against cancer for your community, your state, your country and your world. Step forward to donate to your local Relay For Life event. The American Cancer Society is committed to spending donor dollars wisely,” said Pam Ackerman of Lexington, 18-year Relay For Life volunteer. “The Society’s vision is a world without cancer. With your support, they get closer to that goal. Together, we can be stronger than cancer.”

            The 25th Annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Dawson County will be Friday, July 19, starting at 6 p.m. at Ehmen Park in Gothenburg. This year’s theme is “25 Years of Finding Silver Linings” in honor of the event’s silver anniversary. The public is welcome to attend. To participate, organize a team or donate, go

            For more information about the event, call Sara McCarty at the Kearney ACS Office, 308-237-1631. Learn more about cancer at or call toll-free at 1-800-227-2345.




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