2014 marks the 14th year for the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life of West Chatham County, and new at the helm is Jonathan McCollar.

He got his start with ACS in Statesboro about a year ago, and upon being transferred to Savannah, he now heads up Relay For Life of SCAD, Savannah, Effingham, West Chatham and Bryan County.

The Bryan County event took place last weekend and had a great turnout.

"We just finished the Bryan County event, and it was extremely successful - one of the largest we've had in years - and the organizers met all their goals," McCollar says.

McCollar and the West Chatham council hope for the same results with their event taking place April 11-12 at West Chatham Middle School.

"The key thing is of course raising money for the mission for the organization," McCollar says, "But the overall goal is to get the community involved in the fight against cancer."

The outcome of any Relay For Life boils down to one factor, McCollar says.

"The success of any relay is a strong committee, and it matters how active they are in the community. It's really about what the committee is able to do in activating their community," he explains.

For this weekend's relay, participants and attendees will enjoy karaoke and Zumba on the main stage, along with a DJ, plus other games and activities, "good food and lots of fun," McCollar says.

Getting creative with raising money is part of the fun, and Relay For Life offers several suggestions:

⢠Have a garage sale

⢠Organize a potluck

⢠Make espresso an event

⢠Host a party

Out of the various ways McCollar has seen teams raise money, one of the most creative remains the Miss Relay Pageant.

"Miss Relay Pageant is when men dress up in women's clothes, and whoever is able to raise the most money, wins," McCollar says.

For those who can't attend, McCollar urges everyone to still get involved in this important cause.

"You can always go online and donate at www.relayforlife.org/poolerGA, and we are always looking for new teams and committee members," he says.

McCollar adds, "We'd like to invite everyone out to the event - it's only successful as the community it's a part of."