DeKalb Countians opened up their hearts and their wallets in a big way Friday in the fight against cancer during the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
People of all ages filled Greenbrook Park for this 11th annual event to enjoy the food, games, music, and fellowship.
Co-Chair Iva Del Randolph says already $100,000 has been raised with more money still to come in.
In this overnight family-oriented event, participants walk relay-style around the track and take part in fun activities off the track. Cancer survivors took center stage during the opening ceremony to receive medallions and to give a personal testimony as to just how long they've been a survivor.
Six month old William Blair, son of Keith and Amanda Blair, and 9 year old Allison Rogers, daughter of Wes and Lori Rogers, were the honorary chairpersons for this year's Relay. Both Blair and Rogers are cancer survivors.
This year more than 30 teams joined together to raise money to aid in the battle against cancer. A male beauty contest was also held again this year, featuring several men dressed as women, using their attributes to bring in as much money as possible.
The walking track was also lined with luminaria in honor or remembrance of those who have battled cancer. This ceremony of light symbolizes the hope and courage with which we all continue to fight cancer
Chris Summers, Community Representative with the American Cancer Society says "Relay For Life is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we've lost, and fight back against the disease. Many of the participants are cancer survivors."
Funds raised at Relay For Life will enable the American Cancer Society to support local services and resources for cancer patients and their families. Funds also support critical cancer research and community education programs designed to teach people how to reduce their risk of developing cancer.
The American Cancer Society has to date spent over 9 million on cancer research in our state in 2008! This money is raised by over 130 Relay For Life events across Tennessee in communities that care about fighting cancer.