What is the first word that comes to your mind after hearing Relay for Life? Is it cancer, luminaries or maybe fundraiser? How about cure? On Saturday, June 8, hundreds of individuals gathered in the Macon R-I parking lot for one reason—to help the American Cancer Society find a cure for cancer.
"This is the end of our Relay, but we are still working hard to raise money to find that cure," said Publicity Chair Modeste Ewing during the closing ceremony. "We are not going to quit until cancer is gone. We are going to keep fighting."
With the large number of individuals who participated in the event as well as the 10 Relay teams, an excess of $23,000 was collected.
"We appreciate all the support we received from each of the teams, as well as from our sponsors," said Ewing. "We are especially grateful to the many volunteers and their families for all for their hard work to make this event happen."
The funds raised during Relay helps fund the American Cancer Society's mission of eliminating cancer by helping people stay well, helping people get well by finding cures and fighting back.
Team Tony Levett, which was a first-year team, was the top fundraising team at the event raising $3,631.93.
"The news was overwhelming," said Tena Levett. "I am so proud that we could help out the cancer society that much with such a small team. We couldn't have done it without all of the support. It was just a wonderful thing."
This years event started at 4 p.m. and 70 cancer survivors kicked off the event by walking the first lap. There were multiple team booths with food and crafts, a talent show, silent auction, live entertainment and, of course, the luminaria ceremony which this year featured 394 lit luminaria candles.
Words can not describe the atmosphere during a luminaria ceremony. It is hush with individuals celebrating both those still fighting cancer and remembering those who've lost their fight.
The event ended at midnight this year.
"The weather was perfect, it was a lot of fun and we had a large crowd at the event," said Ewing. "We appreciate all of the support shown by the community in making our event a success."