Fremont, California - September 20, 2001 - At a time when organ transplants are needed by tens of thousands around the nation, corporations, groups and the average individual will participate in the fight to save lives.
The Providian Relay, www.therelay.com, called "California's longest party", is one way for people to band together and help those in need, along with getting a little exercise.
Hurricane Electric, a leading technical service provider in Fremont, began to host The Relay's website over a year ago through their community outreach program in hopes that the new website would help bring in more donations and participants.
And it worked.
Since The Relay, sponsored by the Chronicle, KPIX Channel 5, Providian Financial and many others, began their website, organizers have felt more "efficient and productive," according to Svetlana Dubenko, The Relay's race manager.
This year, The Relay will boast 315 teams each consisting of 12 runners and 2 volunteers, said Dubenko, and every person registered through the website.
The 315 teams will run 199 miles between Calistoga in Napa Valley and the beach in Santa Cruz, on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30.
The Relay website, which allows participants and sponsors to gather information, also allows the registered teams to discuss strategies, causes and personal stories.
"It (the website) has saved us hours of data entry. We've been able to better serve our runners with a message board that allows them to communicate with each other," Dubenko said. The website also allowed The Relay administrative staff to add more teams than in existing years due to the simplicity of registering online.
"Team captains are pleased with having more control over the information that flows in and out of The Relay website about their teams."
"People all over the world are waiting for donated organs," said Mike Leber, Hurricane Electric president. "I am happy that Hurricane Electric is part of the campaign to help those people." This year's race is dedicated to the memory of Nicholas Green, who was shot exactly seven years ago on September 29, 1994 while his family vacationed in Italy. Nicholas' parents, Reg and Maggie Green of Sonoma County, donated his organs to seven Italians, as documented in Reg's book, "The Nicholas Effect" and in the CBS movie, "Nicholas' Gift" starring Jamie Lee Curtis. All of the donations collected from the race will be given to Organs 'R' Us, a California nonprofit, which consists of transplant recipients and candidates, family members and friends, who are all committed to promoting awareness about the critical shortage of donor organs.