According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 1.7 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2014. NTC, a leading research and document-processing provider for the mortgage and financial industry, has long been a proponent of advancing cancer studies in the search for a cure, and the company has further demonstrated its commitment by participating in its fifth consecutive Relay For Life of Palm Harbor & Tarpon Springs event to increase awareness and fundraising efforts to benefit the American Cancer Society. The 18-hour, overnight event was held Friday, May 9th at 6:00 p.m. at Palm Harbor University High School. NTC’s final fundraising tally of $12,177.94 was an increase over last year’s total of $10,183.48, bringing the company’s lifetime Relay For Life fundraising total to $55,226.29.
Reports have shown that cancer causes more than twice as many deaths as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined; additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) projects that “without immediate action, the global number of deaths from cancer will increase by nearly 80 percent by 2030, with most occurring in low‑ and middle-income countries.” These startling numbers have prompted NTC to not only encourage businesses nationwide to do their part in supporting efforts to find new treatments and possibly even a cure, but the company has also championed for Relay For Life during the past several years due to cancer’s global reach. Joellen Thompson, NTC’s vice president of Marketing stated that the event has become a backbone of NTC’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives largely due to its ability to bring awareness to an illness which leads to 8 million deaths annually, one-third of which could be prevented as suggested by research, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“Nearly everyone has been affected by cancer in some way, or they know someone who has been touched by the devastating illness,” said Rachel Becton, specialist for the Relay For Life Florida Division of the American Cancer Society, Inc. “When companies such as NTC offer their assistance and make it a personal mission to do everything within reach to help our organization, it allows us to get that much closer to furthering our research and finding a cure.”
NTC’s 2014 team theme for Relay For Life of Palm Harbor & Tarpon Springs was Glee, paired with the phrase, “Don’t Stop Believing.” NTC’s 30-person team was led by co-captains Thompson and Erika Lance, NTC’s Chief Information Officer, both of whom have participated in Relay For Life since NTC first joined the cause.
Lance commented that one of the most meaningful aspects of the event was the Luminary Ceremony, during which paper bags were lit in honor or memory of loved ones who have battled cancer. During the commemoration, all of the lights were turned off and the track was illuminated only by the bags as a young cancer survivor told the story of her journey to remission.
Relay For Life Palm Harbor & Tarpon Springs is the largest employee-volunteer event that NTC sponsors, and employee involvement has grown each year, according to NTC officials. NTC’s dedication has even led to the company being recognized by the rock band KISS in 2013, when the band featured NTC’s team members on its official website homepage and Facebook.
In addition to Relay For Life, NTC has demonstrated its dedication to enacting a positive impact on the Tampa Bay area by way of its involvement in many philanthropic affairs, including annual toy, food and blood drives. NTC also supports Toys for Tots and the Annual Harbor Art Festival—all in an effort to make the community a better place to live and work for their hundreds of employees.
Lance added, “NTC will undoubtedly participate again next year—this is a huge event for the Palm Harbor area and its residents, and it allows NTC to support an important cause.”
A total of 38 teams and 308 participants raised $60,918.42 at Relay For Life of Palm Harbor & Tarpon Springs. All funds raised remain local to benefit surrounding residents.