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Residents ready to ‘Relay For Life’

Residents ready to ‘Relay For Life’
Staff Reporter
They’ll be putting up a fight Friday night in Fulton.
The fight against cancer will take to the streets during the 2012 Relay For Life of Fulton, South Fulton and Hickman (Ky.).
This year’s event — which raises funds for the American Cancer Society — will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday at Pontotoc Park in downtown Fulton and run through 6 a.m. Saturday.
The opening ceremony will be at 6 p.m. and the survivors lap will be the first lap after the official opening. A luminary ceremony — to honor cancer survivors and to remember those who have succumbed to the disease — will be held at 9 p.m., according to organizers.
Throughout the night and into the wee hours of Saturday, family-friendly activities will include a live auction, entertainment hour, a treasure hunt, the “Dude Looks Like a Lady” contest, an ice cream eating contest, a pajama relay, “Jam With the Air Band,” potato golf, a water balloon contest, a frozen T-shirt contest and sailboat races.
Many teams will offer food for sale to raise funds for Relay For Life and some teams will have games for children to play. The community is encouraged to participate.
The closing ceremony will begin at 5:45 a.m. Saturday at the park.
According to the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life website, this year’s Relay For Life of Fulton, South Fulton and Hickman has 265 participants and 14 teams, with nearly $20,000 raised so far.
Anyone who wants to make a luminary donation may do so by contacting volunteer luminary chairman Wanda Sandling at (731) 479-2183. Each luminary is $5. There will also be torches available for purchase for $100 each.
For more information about walking in the survivors lap, call (270) 627-2545. Cancer survivors will circle the track, surrounded by friends and family cheering them on, during the inspirational survivors lap.
Relay For Life events are held overnight as individuals and teams camp out at an athletic track, park or other gathering area, with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening. Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fund raisers at their camp sites during Relay, according to the American Cancer Society.
The event celebrates people who have battled cancer, remembers loved ones lost and provides participants with an opportunity to fight back against the disease — all aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society’s vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life kicked off in Tacoma, Wash., in the mid-1980s when Tacoma colorectal surgeon Dr. Gordy Klatt wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office and show support for all his patients who had battled cancer. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed — running marathons — and raised $27,000 that first year in May 1985 as he spent 24 hours circling a track and ran more than 83 miles, according to the American Cancer Society.
It was there that Klatt envisioned a 24-hour team relay event which could raise more money to fight cancer.
In 1986, with the help of Pat Flynn, now known as the “Mother of Relay,” 19 teams took part in the first team Relay event and raised $33,000.
Published in The Messenger 5.31.12

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