Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Medical | By Carla Vaughn

Relay for Life paints the world purple

Relay for Life paints the world purple

The event has new hours this year, beginning at 4 p.m. and ending at midnight rather than continuing overnight as it has done in previous years.

This baseball themed event, to celebrate the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, will feature everything baseball. Since then, Dr. Klatt's idea has turned into more than 5,200 Relay For Life events across the nation that have raised almost $5 billion for cancer research.

Kristen Kolwelter, American Cancer Society Community Manager, Lakeshore Division, said in past years many participants wanted to join in on both relay events and with a 50 percent cost in savings to merge the two, and create, one, it seemed like a positive move for both the community and the American Cancer Society.

Food, activities and other items will be for sale by teams at their campsites to help raise donations for the event's goal.

"I would like our community to embrace Relay, because it is such a special and great cause", said Sue Dione with the Relay for Life. "Our biggest hope is that our children and grandchildren won't have to deal with this bad disease".

During the balloon release, guests had an opportunity to honor and remember loved ones lost to cancer by writing a message on a slip of paper and tying it to one of the many purple and white helium-filled balloons.

Emcee Brenda Strickland along with chairperson Patricia Simms and co-chair Pam Keeping opened the relay, welcoming everyone and thanking them for their support.

For Futrell, Relay for Life isn't just an event - it's personal for her. "They are doing something to make a difference", Haynes said.

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The event will kick off by celebrating everyone who's been affected by cancer. "There are so many success stories that come out of the relay". "Each team will sell random things at the Relay itself". As usual, there will be fun and food, games and entertainment.

Prizes will be awarded to first-place winners.

Teams have been hosting a range of fundraisers leading up to Relay, including auctions, cakewalks, bingos, bake sales, a softball tournament and more. At 8 p.m., participants will gather around the stage for a live "basket" auction.

There will also be sombre moments, as luminaries are lit around the track after dark. Walkers will take to the track at 9 a.m. "Relay helps locally and nationally".

Alkire said 19 teams are participating, and every year he is impressed by the amount of work that local volunteers do in support of Relay.

While this year's relay is a bit behind what has raised to the point in past years, it has rallied before when it had similar goals. Kolwelter said all of the services the American Cancer Society provides, are in fact offered to anyone in the county.

Donachy Gymnasts will perform a demo at 11:30 a.m. JM & Tango will then take to the stage around 1 p.m. and a Lip Sync Contest will take place at 2 p.m.

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