NFDA Relay For Life National Team Program Brings Funeral Service Together in Fight Against Cancer

Brookfield, Wis. – According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), men have nearly a one-in-two risk of developing cancer during their lifetime; for women, the risk is a little more than one in three. As part of its ongoing partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS), the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is participating in the Relay For Life National Team Program for the third consecutive year.

Bringing communities together across the United States, Relay For Life is the largest nonprofit fundraising event in the world, and celebrates those who have claimed victory over cancer, remembers those who have lost the battle and fights back to put an end to the disease.

Encouraging funeral service to unite in this nationwide fight against cancer, NFDA has pledged to recruit at least 50 teams participating in local Relay events to join its National Team. Relay teams gather at a local school, park or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or designated path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track/path at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relay For Life is an overnight event that can last up to 24 hours.

As a participant in NFDA's National Relay For Life Team, funeral homes will receive access to a customizable ad slick and news release that will convey their commitment to the families and community they serve, as well as tools and information to help teams recruit members and raise funds. Teams will receive a special banner to promote their affiliation with the NFDA national team. The 72" x 18" vinyl banner with the NFDA and American Cancer Society logos can be displayed outside the funeral home, at Relay fundraising events or at the team's Relay For Life campsite. (Teams that received an NFDA-Relay For Life banner in 2009 are encouraged to reuse their banners; the design has not changed for 2010.)

"There's not a week that goes by when I don't hear of someone who has been diagnosed with cancer or meet with a family whose loved one died of cancer. As a cancer survivor and a funeral director, now, more than ever, is the time for us to give back," said Craig W. Carpenter, CFSP, of Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home & Crematory in West Warwick, R.I., who has been involved with Relay For Life for the past five years. "For me, Relay For Life has been a life-changing experience. As part of NFDA's National Team, and as a participant in our local Relay, our team is looking forward to supporting those affected by cancer in our community."

Funeral homes interested in joining the NFDA National Relay For Life Team can sign up online by following these steps: Visit the exclusive NFDA National Relay For Life Team page at; click on the "Find a Relay Near You" link; enter your ZIP code to find the Relay events closest to you; choose the Relay event you would like to participate in; click on the "Sign Up Here" button and then click on "Start a Team"; and fill out the registration information. To ensure your team is affiliated as a member of the NFDA National Relay For Life team, be sure to choose "National Funeral Directors Association" in the "Team Company/Organization" drop-down menu.

In addition to forming a team, other ways funeral professionals can get involved include sponsoring the costs associated with hosting a Relay event or volunteering their time and talent at an event.

For more information about joining NFDA's National Relay For Life Team, contact Jessica Koth or Emilee High at 800-228-6332.

NFDA is the world's leading funeral service association, serving 19,000 individual members who represent more than 10,200 funeral homes in the United States and internationally. From its headquarters in Brookfield, Wis., and its Advocacy Division office in Washington, D.C., NFDA informs, educates and advocates to help members enhance the quality of service they provide to families. For more information, visit