Wythe County Relay for Life raises millions of dollars over the years

Local News

“I was so opposed to it, I said there is no way that anyone in Wythe County is going to give me one hundred dollars to sleep in Withers Park in May,” said Jean Lester, Wythe County Relay for Life Organizer.

Jean Lester says she got involved with the American Cancer Society in the late fifties.

“Why did you get involved?”

“Because my boss, he signed my check and he said so and at that time, I’ll have to tell this, at that time. I didn’t even know of anyone who had cancer,” said Jean Lester, Wythe County Relay for Life Organizer.

But in the next couple of years that would all change.

“I had lost my mother, to leukemia, my father to prostate cancer, my husband to liver cancer, and my brother to pancreatic cancer,” said Jean Lester, Wythe County Relay for Life Organizer.

Jean says her group of volunteer were doing fundraisers which were making a thousand to two thousand dollars, so they decided to try to get the community involved in a Relay for Life.

“We dreamed, dreamed of making ten thousand dollars. We came home with seventy-five thousand that year, so we thought hey, this might work and so that was the beginning of relay,” said Jean Lester, Wythe County Relay for Life Organizer.

Jean says over the years they have raised close to two million dollars to help fight this fatal disease.

“That’s a lot of money for a small farming community. It’s because of the people, the volunteers,” said Jean Lester, Wythe County Relay for Life Organizer.  

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