Dear Editor:

With the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Winneshiek County approaching on June 8, a commonly asked question is, "Where exactly does my money go?"

In 2012, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life raised $6,313,182 in Iowa to help fight cancer. The funds raised went to a variety of ways in which the American Cancer Society helps individuals in their cancer journey:

• Research - The American Cancer Society currently funds 12 researchers in the state of Iowa at a total of $7 million.

• Lodging - The Russell and Ann Gerdin American Cancer Society Hope Lodge is a home-away-from-home for cancer patients in Iowa City. It provides a place to stay for cancer patients and a caregiver at no cost, and is currently at full capacity. In 2012, the Hope Lodge saved over 400 cancer patients over $1 million in lodging costs.

• Information - The American Cancer Society's website, www.cancer.org

helped nearly 150,000 Iowans last year in learning about cancer. Our 24/7 toll-free phone number, 1-800-ACS-2345, is an excellent additional resource for those facing a cancer journey.

• Transportation - In 2012, the American Cancer Society helped hundreds of cancer patients get to and from nearly 5,000 cancer treatments, thanks in part to our Road to Recovery program.

• Scholarships - Last year, the American Cancer Society awarded 17 cancer survivors a $2,000 scholarship to further their educations.

• Look Good...Feel Better -- The American Cancer Society's Look Good...Feel Better program assists cancer patients learn techniques to enhance their appearance and, as a result, their self-image. In 2012, over 500 cancer patients were helped by this program.

Cancer is currently the number one cause of death in Iowa. Every day, two Iowans every hour will hear the words, "you have cancer." Virtually all of us know someone facing a cancer diagnosis. Your support of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Winneshiek County will go a long way in assisting many people beat cancer and celebrate more birthdays.

For more information about the American Cancer Society please call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org

For information on getting involved in our local relay please contact Teresa Dehning at 1-563-419-1069. For event location and time or to register your team visit our website www.relayforlife.org/winneshiekcountyia. We look forward to seeing you on June 8.