Jenn Phillips will join Mary McCormack as co-chair of Howard County’s Relay For Life at Hammond High School. The annual overnight community event, which will be held June 3 and 4, celebrates cancer survivorship and raises money for the American Cancer Society.
Phillips, a captain in the Air Force, is assistant director of operations of the 29th Intelligence Squadron at Fort Meade. Born and raised in Starkville, Miss., Phillips has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Mississippi State University and is working on her doctorate in liberal studies.
Co-chairing is a two-year commitment. McCormack, who retired from Verizon in 2008, became co-chair in June 2009. Phillips made her commitment in February 2011. Both co-chairs have had family members who had cancer.
Teams raise money before and at the relay. Phillips has been a team member for four years, one of which was at last year’s Howard County Relay. “Relay is a community of like-minded individuals with common goals,” said Phillips. “It is an excellent way to bring people together.”
The new co-chair has two goals for future relays. One is to attract more people. “You can never have enough people involved in something like this,” said Phillips, who is training for a half-marathon in Virginia Beach, Va., to support a co-worker who was killed in Afghanistan. Another is to promote more involvement among teams through means such as collaborative fundraising and supporting each others’ fundraisers.
The Howard County Relay began in 1996 and attracts 1,000 or more participants each year, including 200 cancer survivors. It has raised almost $4 million during the last 15 years; last year’s event tallied $275,000.
For more information about the Relay For Life, visit www.howardrfl.com.