Last night, I attended the first committee meeting for the 2016 Relay For Life. I had been looking forward to this. I wanted to help more. I was excited!
“Was” being the operative word.
For being a new year, some committee positions were already filled. What? How? Just because someone held a position last year, they automatically, get reassigned? Their names are on the paperwork already!
The city I had relayed in last year is a small farming community. The best way I can explain it is, “Footloose”. Yes, that dance movie, where Kevin Bacon,
with the help of a preacher’s daughter, took on the town in the name of a dance. I would have to do the same, but for a walk.
I am the outsider. I don’t live in the city, but I work there. Last year, there was virtually no outside public particpation. The advertising before the Relay was minimal. The social media exposure was practically nonexistent.
I wanted to see growth, community involvement and more participation. When I raised concerns, I received “polite” smiles, a few snide comments and some just moved on, as if I had said nothing at all.
The coordinator for the Relay, was somewhat receptive to my observations. Of course, he works for the American Cancer Society, and isn’t part of “the town”.
I left the meeting crushed and devastated. I was so put off by their treatment, I have changed my mind about being a team captain at that location. Considering they only had less than 10 teams last year, they are down by one already.
I returned home and emailed the coordinator. I laid out all my concerns and observations. I let him know I think he is over the learning curve from last year, as he started in January, and his comfort and knowledge-base showed.
I then informed him I would try to locate another Relay venue for my team, join someone else’s team, or just privately fundraise and make my own donation.
While it may seem like I am coming off “bitchy”, the Relay is extremely important to me. I have high standards that I won’t allow to be diminished by those who would half-ass their participation. The writing is on the wall, and I could read it clearly: “MOVE ON”.
As my sister was, and I am, strong in our convictions, it was the right decision for me to walk away from this particular Relay. Perhaps this is a stepping stone to a better Relay. Perhaps a new fundraising opportunity is waiting. Either way, I am sure my sister would be proud for my resolve in staying true to my beliefs and myself.