May 19, 2011 Issue


Do parents know where their kids are each night?

Dear Editor:

It is a shame that really worthwhile events such as The Relay For Life sponsored by The American Cancer Society finally had to resort to charging admission to get into the event.

I noticed that after the first three or four years, unsupervised youths from pre-school age upward to late teens and early 20’s began showing up at the relays causing interruption of the walkers by playing on the walking track and throwing things into the crowd.



This later developed into these kids, mostly 5 to 10 year olds, began climbing onto parked vehicles, walking across the trunk, over the top, across the windshield and hood and jumping off.

Some members of my team left the relay and took their vehicles home thereby disrupting their role as walkers and otherwise helping to make the event successful.

There was at least one occasion (to my personal knowledge) where some of the older youths brought guns to the event. It finally boiled down to requiring an unreasonable cost for security versus charging admission so in order to continue toward our goal of raising money to aid in the fight against cancer there was no other choice.

Too many people give generously of their time and money to have to carry the additional burden of having to worry about the safety of those at the event and damage to personal property.

Situations such as what has gone on at past events has been the forerunner of the complete abandoning of many events that were serving a great need for all cancer victims, present and future.

Would it be a fair question to ask if the people responsible for the youth “gangs” really care even though they or their family are already cancer victims/survivors? Will all this eventually lead to the end of the most worthwhile fundraisers in Jefferson County history? Do you know where your family youths, preschoolers to high schoolers, are each night?

Robert Clements


The News and Farmer P.O. Box 487 Louisville, GA 30434
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