County Relay event approachesPublished 11:11am Thursday, May 9, 2013
Survivors, supporters, friends and family will descend on the walking track for Relay for Life Friday, and participants are pushing forward to make sure the event is a success.
“We want to encourage people, even if they’re not part of a team, to come out that night and just join in,” said Bridget Thornell, team recruitment chair. “You don’t have to be part of a team
With about 40 teams registered this year, Thornell said the county has raised $50,000 so far – more than half of the $80,000 goal.
“It seems like everything is going great,” Thornell said. “Teams have really been fundraising.”
And through it all, Relay participants are keeping in mind why they relay.
“My mom died of breast cancer when I was five,” said Kathryn Foy, who created a team this year with the National Honors Society at BRHS. “It’s just always been something I wanted to be a part of.”
Foy is one of many from whom cancer has taken or affected someone special.
“I relay because of my uncle,” Thornell said. “He was diagnosed with cancer last year. (Relay) is a family function, and just about every family has been touched by cancer in some way or another. I just encourage everybody to come out and just see what it’s all about, and next year they may want to be more involved.”
Stacy Shaw is another Relay participant for whom cancer is something personal.
“One of my earliest childhood memories is the death of my aunt, who died of breast cancer at the age of 30,” Shaw said. “At that time I didn’t really understand.”
Shaw said after seeing cancer affect more family members – including her mother and her grandmother – throughout her life, she got involved in Relay in 2003 at the invitation of her great-grandmother Robbie Atkisson.
“I realized at that point that cancer had hurt me so bad throughout my whole life, and Relay is my way to fight back,” Shaw said. “It’s a way to feel like it hasn’t beaten me.”
But fighting back isn’t the only focus of Relay, and participants said celebrating and having fun will be a major emphasis of the evening.
“There will be lots of games and entertainment for the kids,” said Kim Dunn, Relay committee member. “We encourage everybody to come out. There will be lots going on.”
Relay for Life will begin at 6:30 p.m. As the evening progresses, attendees will be able to enjoy entertainment by Rexton Lee and Cheri Edwards, a performance by the BRHS cheerleaders, the luminaria ceremony and, for the first time, a fireworks display.
“We just want everybody to come be a part of it – support Relay and support the survivors in our community,” Dunn said.
Tallapoosa County Relay for Life Agenda
5–6 p.m. Survivor Banquet (by invitation)
6:15 p.m. Survivors walk or ride to venue
6:20 p.m. Survivors line up by stage
6:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies begin
- Opening prayer by Wayne Cowhick
- Speaker, Dr. Lee Burnett
- Survivor’s Celebration Lap
- Friends and Family Lap
- Children’s Lap
7:10 p.m. Kowaliga Idol, Cheri Edwards
7:30 p.m. Performance by BRHS cheerleaders
7:35 p.m. Rexton Lee
8:45 p.m. Luminaria ceremony
- Prayer by Todd Henderson
- Colt McCoy, speaker
- Laura Russell, speaker
- Kierra Diamond to perform with choir
- National Honor Society balloon release
9:20 p.m. Fireworks show