Relay team runs to raise funds for the American Cancer Society

Currently in its 8th year and having raised more than $748,000 to date for cancer research, Georgia Power’s Run for the Reason relay team is getting ready for its annual trek across the state to benefit and support the American Cancer Society. This year’s relay will be run in honor of John Cox, a 28 year Georgia Power employee who passed away from cancer in 2004.

The 18-member relay team will participate in a 400-mile run which begins April 16 on St. Simons Island and ends April 18 on Hwy. 78 in Tallapoosa at the Alabama State line. All proceeds raised from the event will be donated to the American Cancer Society for cancer research, awareness and prevention programs.

“We have been participating in this relay since 1998. Each year we are overwhelmed and moved by the outpouring of support from our fellow employees, friends and corporate sponsors,” said Georgia Power Run for the Reason Chairman Chris D’Andrea. “The fight is far from over and the monies raised this year will be invaluable to the continued research for a cure.”

Before the runners head to St. Simons Island to begin the relay, a pep rally and send-off party will be held at Georgia Power’s corporate office on April 15. Employees will have the opportunity to view a video stressing the significance of early cancer detection and the importance of supporting cancer research. The video will feature Janet Cox, widow of John Cox, and Janet’s father, Bob Scherer, former president and CEO of Georgia Power. Door prizes will be given away and tables will be set up to accept monetary donations.

Runners will be divided into three teams with six runners each, running in relay fashion. Each participant is expected to run five 4.5-mile legs or 22.5 miles for an approximate total of 400 miles over three days. The runners will be supported by other employees who will follow the teams in recreational vehicles.

The relay team will pass through Waycross, Tifton, Vienna, Warner Robins, Griffin, Jonesboro, Atlanta, Austell, Douglasville and Bremen before passing the baton to Alabama Power runners on April 18 in Tallapoosa.

For the first time since the relay began in 1998, Georgia Power employees who are cancer survivors will have an opportunity to join the relay team and run the Ralph McGill Boulevard leg of the relay which passes in front of the company’s corporate headquarters on Monday April 18.

Overall, the run is expected to raise more than $150,000 for American Cancer Society chapters in Georgia. The money will come from corporate sponsorships and from donations solicited by individual runners.

Here`s the route and tentative arrival times as the runners travel through Georgia.

Saturday April 16: 9:30 a.m. - Run starts at Georgia Power’s St. Simons office building. The runners will follow Hwy. 17 on Glynn Avenue to Hwy. 82 7:00 p.m. - Arrive in Waycross and continue run through Ware, Atkinson and Berrien counties

Sunday April 17: 5:00 a.m. - Arrive in Tifton. Runners will merge onto Hwy. 41 12:15 p.m. - Arrive in Cordele

Monday April 18: 6:10 a.m. - Run through Griffin 9:15 a.m. - Run through Jonesboro 12:15 p.m. - Arrive at Georgia Power headquarters, 241 Ralph McGill Boulevard, continue run through downtown Atlanta. 2:40 p.m. - Run through Austell continuing on Hwy. 78 towards Alabama state line 10:00 p.m. - Hand off baton to Alabama Power runners at the Georgia-Alabama state line on Hwy 78.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility, serving customers in 57,000 of the state’s 59,000 square miles. Georgia Power’s rates are more than 15 percent below the national average, and its 2 million customers are in all but six of Georgia’s 159 counties.