2014-05-08 / Front Page

Relay For Life Begins May 16

Still time to be part of 18-hour cancer fundraiser

STAFF WRITER

Fulton County Relay For Life will step off at 5 p.m. Friday, May 16, at McConnellsburg High School. The annual event that benefits the American Cancer Society (ACS) offers the community a way to come together to celebrate and honor the lives of cancer survivors and remember those lost to the disease.

Nine teams made up of 73 people are registered to take part in the overnight community fundraising walk that ends at 11 a.m. Saturday. Their goal this year is to raise $26,000 for ACS. As of May 2, $8,000 of that goal had been raised, according to ACS staffperson Connie Woodruff, who said, “We have some good momentum going.”

In 2013 Fulton County Relay For Life netted about $28,500 for the Cancer Society.

The first Relay For Life was held in1985 in Tacoma, Wash. Since those first steps the event has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, raising nearly $5 billion to fight cancer.

An opening ceremony, welcome and announcements take place at 5 p.m., followed by a cancer survivor victory walk by the flagpole at the entrance to the high school. Woodruff said last Friday that 27 survivors had so far signed up to participate.

A dinner for the survivors and their caregivers sponsored by Fulton County Medical Center and served inside the high school by the Medical Center’s Angels Relay For Life team is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Following the meal cancer survivor Wayne Younker Jr., of Warfordsburg, will speak about his experience as a guest of the ACS Hope Lodge in Baltimore, Md., during cancer treatments. The Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge facilities provide a free and comfortable place for patients and their caregivers to stay when traveling away from home for treatment.

Highlighting the evening at 9 p.m. is a luminaria service, a candlelight vigil held to honor survivors and to remember those lost to cancer. Lights in white bags will line the track, each bearing the name of a loved one. Luminarias are available at the Relay until 8:30 p.m. for a suggested donation of $10 each.

Many fun activities have been planned for the 18-hour circus-themed Relay, including games and a familyfriendly movie with popcorn. For the participants who will take turns walking the high school track nonstop from the event’s start on Friday until it ends on Saturday themed laps are on the schedule.

There’s still plenty of time to get involved in this year’s Relay For Life. To sign up a team, make a donation, sign up for the survivor’s dinner or a luminaria call Connie Woodruff at 717-264-6266 or e-mail her at connie.woodruff@cancer.org

Relay For Life supports the ACS’s lifesaving mission to eliminate cancer as a major health issue. Money brought in by annual Relay For Life events across the nation allow the ACS to continue cutting-edge cancer research, early detection and prevention education, advocacy efforts and patient services.

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