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Watch highlights from the Relay For Life Top Performers meeting

On August 3-5, about 200 volunteers and staff representing top community and campus Relay For Life events, as well as members of the Relay For Life Nationwide Volunteer Team, National Campus Leadership Team, and Global Leadership Team, gathered in Atlanta for our Nationwide Top Performers meeting. The theme was "Climbing to New Heights."

The goal was to recognize our top performers and have them come away feeling energized and armed with great ideas, inspiration, and motivation. The meeting also gave attendees a chance to meet some ACS-funded researchers, and hear Alpa Patel, PhD, senior scientific director, Epidemiology Research, deliver a talk titled "The Future of Cancer Prevention: Highlights from the CPS-3."

Key volunteers who have had a hand in shaping the Relay For Life movement over the years, including three  members of the Relay For Life Hall of Fame - Phylecia Wilson of Georgia, Laura McCormick of Connecticut, and Jeff Ross of North Carolina – were on hand to share their knowledge.

Watch highlights from the meeting!

Panel Discussion: ACS leaders answer volunteers' questions 

TJ Koerner, PhD, and Janet Harris from our Extramural Research Dept.: How ACS Makes Research Happen

Alpa Patel, PhD, and ACS-funded Researchers

Global Hero of Hope Grant Crim: 3x Cancer Survivor 

Workgroup members who organized the event were:

  • Caroline Biondo, of University of Virginia, a member of the National Campus Leadership Team
  • Staffer Jennifer Bryant, director, Constituent Development
  • Kelly Fryer, southern Oklahoma volunteer and member of the Top Performers Workgroup
  • Staffer Steve Konsdorf, director, RFL Program Initiatives 
  • Nacole Light, of Colorado, a member of the Top Performers Workgroup
  • Laura McCormick, of Connecticut, a member of the Relay For Life Hall of Fame and Global RFL Lead Volunteer
  • Heather Mills, of Virginia, a member of the Top Performers Workgroup and a volunteer on the Southeast Region Leadership Team
  • Staffer Joe Prosperi, director, Relay For Life Digital Strategy
  • Staffer Savanna Rayner, RFL manager, Youth Initiatives and Events
  • Kaitlyn Rebbe of Oklahoma, a member of the Top Performers Workgroup
  • Shelley Sprouffske, Nationwide Top Performers Lead
  • Karen Woldahl of Georgia, a member of the Top Performers Workgroup

So, you might ask, what are our Top Relays? Below are the top 15 community and college events for 2017. The fundraising totals represent 2017 net earnings.


  • Relay For Life of Gwinnett County, GA, $1,500,537.41
  • Relay For Life of South Mid Jefferson, TX, $677,684.53
  • Relay For Life of Morgan Decatur, AL, $661,894.03
  • Relay For Life of Delta Corporate, $659,707.13
  • Relay For Life of Bakersfield, CA, $658,114.10
  • Relay For Life of Lancaster, PA, $598,740.46
  • Relay For Life of Salinas, CA, $534,655.16
  • Relay For Life of Eugene-Springfield, OR, $532,255.48
  • Relay For Life of South Hampton Roads, VA, $524,609.33
  • Relay For Life of Yellowstone County, $497,480.58
  • Relay For Life of Guam, $491,667.15
  • Relay For Life of Farmington Valley, CT, $466,133.74
  • Relay For Life of Cobb County, GA, $444,667.55
  • Relay For Life of Bay Area, TX, $422,603.31
  • Relay For Life of Tacoma, WA, $414,496.59


  • Relay For Life of Virginia Tech, $457,191.36
  • Relay For Life at the University of Michigan, $319,283.73
  • Relay For Life of James Madison University, $289,815.92
  • Relay For Life of Northeastern University, $268,868.19
  • Relay For Life of Florida State University, $262,660.74
  • Relay For Life of UCLA, $248,719.14
  • Relay For Life of University of Georgia, $242,437.81
  • Relay For Life of Kenyon College, $204,592.10
  • Relay For Life of University of Oklahoma, $201,692.22
  • Relay For Life of USC, $172,103.88
  • Relay For Life of Vanderbilt, $167,067.72
  • Relay For Life of Loyola University, $163,714.10
  • Relay For Life of SUNY Geneseo, $156,480.24
  • Relay For Life of Washington University In Saint Louis, $155,241.11
  • Relay For Life of Saint Louis University, $143,917.15

PHOTOS: In the image at the top, Sharon Byers, chief development and marketing officer; Mike Neal, senior executive VP, Field Operations; and Maria Clark, senior VP, Volunteer Events, bow down to the representatives from the #1 top performing Relay, the Relay For Life of Gwinnett, GA, Pictured in the smaller image, from left, are  Laura McCormick of Connecticut, a member of the Relay For Life Hall of Fame; Donielle Deitz, of Sanford, FL, former Relay For Life Nationwide Volunteer Team co-lead; Joe Gillette, of Brooklyn, NY, a member of the Top Performers Workgroup; and Maria Clark, senior VP, Volunteer Events.

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