It is with great regret that I need to apologize to each of you.
Personally I believe that the Committee at the top of Relay For Life of SL has the responsibility of ensuring that this is known and transparent to all of its volunteers. Since they did not do this, it was my responsiblity as a captain to ensure that I make it known and transparent to each of you..
I have been aware of one of these issues since May when Stingray9798 Raymaker had emailed me and told me that he would correct the RFL information that is given out. As of today it is still not corrected and many of our international relayers and captains believe it to be true. We do not give 12-15% of all monies brought in to the international community. Now they are doing things on a global basis to educate people ...last I checked --currently focusing on teaching the dangers of smoking in Africa. Though I was told in a documented email that this would be changed back in May 2013, written by our own Stingray9798 Raymaker and approved by the ACS Global Director...though the information for 2014 has been put in and updated, as of today here is the link
The misleading numbers are still there. Those same numbers were put into all the different languages that were given out to international relayers. In truth, when I spoke with the ACS directly and also thru live chat (also have the documentation) I was told in no uncertain terms that all monies raised stay in the US. This does not mean that our international relayers should stop relaying....it does mean that they have the right to know through full transparency and accountability where their money is going.
The other thing I realized, and I hold myself responsible as your captain, for not being more adamant about furthering my research into the transparency and accountability of the American Cancer Society and even more so, our own business liaison and leadership as I realized they should have had better knowledge and/or been more forthcoming with information.
It clearly states that they share your mailing information which is something that we all put in when we donate thru convio. I find this rather ironic in a virtual world that places such emphasis on anonymity. I knew right away this is where my information came from, due to living on a fixed income, I choose what I donate and to who and that is my limit. The only thing I have given personal information in for the past couple of years through their website is the American Cancer Society. I also opted out of anything else it would ask of me when I put the donations through. so needless to say I was very surprised when I looked into it a bit more.
I hold myself responsible for not being more efficient about learning about this before I led a team. It was my responsibility as a leader ensure that I was fully aware of all of this and passed it on to each of you, as I did last year when I learned that YOU CAN GET RECEIPTS FOR LINDENS DONATED. True the process is long and Stingray is not always too good about handling things in a timely manner.....but the fact of the matter is that you can get them.
Many of you know that I have been diagnosed with cancer since the end of the 2013 season, and though I had always though the ACS site was very informative, it was only when I went to look up the type of cancer that I have been diagnosed with that I soon realized the facts are not there, as much as just generic/general information is. I found the answers I was looking for through a bit more reliable sources....Mayo/ Northwestern/ solid teaching universities that are in the top rankings in this country. Their information is much more accurate and specific.
In trying to give the American Cancer Society some credit as a patient, as I truly had questions and concerns, Once again I have been very disappointed. Both with the promise to send me information for other links and the ability to offer assistance.
As a team captain for RFL of SL -- I am stepping down as I will never give another penny to the ACS. In no way shape or form, am I saying that each of you should not support them, that is based upon your feelings toward it. I will just no longer continue to take this team down that path, and if you believe so much in them, you should truly look into joining another team next year. I commend you with all my heart for following your heart. As a team captain of an amazing team of people, I have researched it and when ready to, hope you will all continue to support me in fundraising efforts for STAND UP 2 CANCER. 100%---yes 100% of each donation made goes toward the funding of research on cancer and nothing is hidden away. Here is their website if you care to take a look.....oh and by the way, they also have an international team working on research. http://www.standup2cancer.org/
Again I apologize for not being so straightforward with you from the beginning, and not delving into this deeper. As a leader it is my responsibility to have all the facts to pass on to each of you.
I love each and every one of you so very much.