For the past 23 years, Georgia Power employees have gathered every spring for the company’s Run for the Reason event – a three-day, 350-mile relay run from Atlanta to St. Simon’s Island – in support of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) research center. This year, employees, families, friends and supporters have donated more than $35,000 during the pandemic, and more than $2 million since the event’s inception in 1997.
When the COVID-19 pandemic halted all events and social gatherings last March, participants in the annual relay made a commitment to continue fundraising in a virtual environment, with one hundred percent of donations going directly to critical research needs. Race participants and fundraisers often do so in honor of a loved one that has or is battling cancer, while many are survivors themselves.
“While the pandemic may have changed how we volunteer and fundraise, it hasn’t changed our team’s commitment to being a citizen wherever we serve,” said Sloane Drake, senior vice president of Human Resources at Georgia Power and executive champion for Run for the Reason. “We’re incredibly proud of how our employees have continued to support deserving organizations such as ACS through creative virtual and socially distanced events. Their efforts ensure we can continue to make a difference in the lives of our loved ones, friends, co-workers and neighbors during these challenging times.”
In addition to funds raised through “Run for the Reason,” Georgia Power employees also supported ACS’ annual “Relay for Life” nationwide events virtually this year. Several Citizens of Georgia Power volunteer chapters raised more than $23,000 that will also benefit research and resources needed to support cancer survivors during this vulnerable time.
ACS estimates that there will be 1.8 million new cancer cases diagnosed and 606,320 cancer deaths in the United States this year. Since 1946, the nonprofit has invested more than $4.9 billion in research to find better treatments, potential causes and to help improve the quality of life for patients.
The community can continue to support Georgia Power’s virtual cancer research fundraiser through the end of the year by visiting the American Cancer Society’s donation page and selecting “I want to support my local event.”