Puddles and an overcast sky did not deter 11 Relay For Life teams from coming together on Saturday, June 1 for the annual Relay For Life of Carthage.
Before 9 a.m., dedicated teams began setting up their campsites in Central Park. By noon, the area was filled with the aroma of chili dogs, funnel cake fries, Whisler burgers, smoked meats, and walking tacos. Squeals of joy from winners of games at the campsites of Lowe’s Lifestriders and Team Pink filled the air while music by “No Apparent Reason” was being enjoyed by the crowd.
As the weather became pleasant with low temperatures and sunshine, the community came out to enjoy the music, games, and food that continued all afternoon and evening.
Michael Lackey, event chair along with his co-chair, Jamie Carmickle, presented the opening ceremony at 7 pm.
Invocation was given by Planning Committee member, Randy Frost, followed by the National Anthem sung by “Front Page News.”
Survivors were recognized as they each stepped forward to give their names, what type of cancer they faced (are facing) and how many years they have survived. While they took their traditional survivor lap, the teams lined the track to applaud them for their courage and the hope that they all give to others fighting the cancer battle.
Caregivers were also recognized and took their traditional lap with the survivors. Following the survivor / caregiver laps, the teams begin their walk which would last until 4 a.m. Sunday morning.
At 9:15 p.m., the luminaria ceremony was presented by Debbie Evans, luminaria chair. The names of those who are survivors or who have lost their battle to cancer were read. Soon the park was aglow with the luminaria bags that were lit by team members, family and friends.
It was a time to remember and to honor those who struggled with cancer.
After walking all night, the teams held their closing ceremony at 4 a.m. Sunday morning. Tired and still a little damp, they headed home to get some rest. The 2013 Relay For Life may have ended, but thoughts of the 2014 Relay For Life was already beginning.
As of 4 a.m. Sunday, the total raised by the teams was $57,000 which was $7,000 above the 2013 goal of $50,000.
The Planning Committee would like to thank all of the teams, the Corporate sponsors, the many donors, family and friends for making the 2013 Relay For Life a success. Without all of the volunteers and donations, there would be no Relay.
A portion of the donations to the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life stays in this area for programs for cancer patients. For more information on how you can volunteer or make a donation, contact the American Cancer Society at cancer.org or carthagerelay.org.
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