Relay For Life: Where Your Money Goes

Howard Wilner
3 min readJul 12, 2019


Howard Wilner: Relay For Life: Where Your Money Goes

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), 1 out of 3 people in the US will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. As such, there is a resounding call for people to help fight the tough battle against cancer. The Relay For Life movement is a great avenue for this, being a fundraiser that is dedicated to helping cancer patients and their families, as well as researchers and everyone who is working to attack cancer.

Relay For Life is a 24-hour fundraising and relay event where people join teams and walk on a track to raise money to fight cancer. Over 5,000 Relay for Life events are conducted annually worldwide.

Howard Wilner, president of Automax Preowned, has recently announced the company’s sponsorship for the 2019 Relay for Life in Massachusetts. Howard Wilner and his team at Automax Preowned recognize the importance of supporting cancer patients, celebrating cancer survivors, honoring those who passed away, and furthering research to find a cure.

If you’re looking to support Relay For Life, Wilner notes the importance of knowing where your donations go. While the ACS uses 25% of the funds for management and fundraising expenses, the large 75% of the proceeds are spread through four mission program services:

Patient support

In the 2017 ACS Stewardship Report, $310 million went to patient support services. Some of these are listed below.

  • Patient Lodging Programs

Many cancer patients must travel to other cities for their treatment, and the consistent travel makes it harder. The ACS provides cancer patients and their caregivers a place to stay for free through Hope Lodge, easing the financial burden of paying for lodging.

  • Rides to treatment

The Road to Recovery program provides rides to patients who are unable to get to cancer treatment centers. Howard Wilner says patients need rides to their treatments every day, and family and friends may not always be available to help.

  • National Cancer Information Center (NCIC)

The NCIC delivers consistent and accurate cancer information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The center also helps connect patients, families, and caregivers to valuable services and resources. Wilner and his team at Automax Preowned believe that having a 24/7 helpline like the NCIC is vital in providing patients and their families the support they need, whenever they need it.

  • Patient Navigator Program

Patients can connect with a personal cancer guide to help manage their care. Patient navigators talk to patients one-on-one, listening in time of need.

Cancer Research

Through Relay for Life, the ACS can conduct research for cancer treatments. In the 2017 report, they invested $153 million in research. Large-scale cancer prevention studies are conducted to increase the understanding of cancer and improve control programs and policies. Tobacco control is also researched in order to impact worldwide policies, since tobacco remains as the leading cause of cancer.

Furthermore, ACS funds various cancer-related researches such as translational cancer, cancer cell biology, clinical cancer immunology, and cancer control and prevention.

As one of the many partners sponsoring Relay for Life, Howard Wilner supports the efforts of ACS in moving cancer research forward. Indeed, every research is a step towards the breakthrough of finally defeating cancer.

Prevention, information, and education

The 2017 ACS report states that $114 million was spent on this specific program. A Tobacco-Free Generation Campus initiative was launched, which is a multi-year program seeking to implement 100% smoke-free and tobacco-free campuses. The ACS also became a major driving force in promoting vaccination against human papilloma virus (HPV) in the US and in several low-income countries.

Howard Wilner explains that through fundraising events such as Relay for Life, key initiatives like these will continue to educate people about cancer, creating a meaningful impact worldwide.

Detection and treatment

In the same report, the ACS has spent $88 million on detection and treatment. Increasing cancer screening rates is a big part of this mission, resulting in reduced cancer incidence and mortality. One of the campaigns launched by ACS was “80% by 2018,” which aimed to achieve 80 percent colon cancer screening rates by the end of 2018.

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Howard Wilner

President of Automax Preowned in Framingham, Massachusetts.