Relay is a community event

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, April 27, 2011

With hope as a focus Tom Byrne Park will be bustling with activity Saturday as the annual Relay for Life event gets under way.

Several teams have completed fundraising activities aimed at raising money to aid in the fight against cancer. Funds raised with Relay in mind will benefit the American Cancer Society in helping to fund research, development of treatment and provide needed medical treatment and devices required by victims of the dreaded disease.

Saturday’s Relay for Life will begin with opening ceremonies at 3 p.m. and will feature area dignitaries, singers and committee members who have worked to organize and plan this year’s event. There will be a special blessing bestowed upon the event by a local minister.

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Although the vast majority of those who will be scrambling through the Park on Saturday will be team members and members of the planning committee the event is certainly open to the public.

A variety of activities are planned throughout the afternoon and evening with closing of the event planned for midnight.

Throughout the evening, teams will no doubt continue to raise funds needed to aid the fight against cancer by selling food and drinks as well as other goodies and chances at prizes and drawings. All funds collected during the event will go towards the team/committee totals for the American Cancer Society.

Some of the activities planned may give audience members a chance to witness the birth of a new star right here at home. Karaoke contests begin at 4:30 p.m. with the first round of dance competitions beginning around 5:45 p.m.

Every activity at the Atmore Relay for Life event is geared toward bringing in money while involving the community in the fight against cancer.

Special ceremonies and activities are especially poignant with cancer survivors featured in a special lap beginning the hours-long event. The survivor’s lap will begin immediately following opening ceremonies kicking off Relay laps for team members. Luminarias will be lit in remembrance of those who have lost the fight with cancer and in honor of those who have survived. This ceremony puts the fight into perspective for those who have been touched by cancer. The lighting of luminaria begins at 9 p.m.

A Celebration Ceremony is set for 10 p.m. and is sure to provide a wonderful atmosphere for basking in the glow of hard work, dedication and efforts to combat cancer.

We encourage everyone to head out to Tom Byrne Park Saturday sometime between 3 p.m. and midnight. Join the dozens and dozens of team members, Relay for Life coordinators and representatives with the American Cancer Society. You might even want to take your lawn chair and your wallet and spend the evening with people who have a passion for seeing an end to cancer.

As a community, we hope that our neighbors and friends will join with teams during Saturday’s Relay to help continue to fight the fight against cancer.

By becoming involved in the battle to end this disease, the life you save may be your own.