From its remarkable yet humble beginnings, the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life has grown into a national, even international, phenomenon. Starting in 1985 with only one event, today more than 4 million people in over 20 countries raise much needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer through the Relay For Life movement.
At Relay for Life, you can find healing, comfort, and support from others who have faced cancer or who have lost a loved one to the disease. You have a chance to meet people in the community who are equally as passionate about finding an end to cancer in our lifetime. No matter why you take part in Relay, however, one thing is clear: with every step you take, you are helping the American Cancer Society save lives and "Finish the Fight".
Come share the Relay experience at Green Brook Park on Friday, May 9 and take pride in knowing that you are working to create a world where this disease will no longer threaten the lives of our loved ones or claim another year of anyone's life.
The 17th annual Relay for Life begins with musical entertainment at 5:00 p.m. followed by the opening ceremony at 6:00 p.m. featuring personal testimonies from cancer survivors and then a Survivors' Lap, during which those who have survived the struggle circle the track together to help everyone celebrate what has been achieved against cancer.
As the sun sets, Luminaria bags lining the track illuminate the night and then a hush falls over the event as Relay participants, survivors and caregivers gather together for a Luminaria Ceremony at 9:00 p.m. to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who have battled the disease.
As participants walk the track lined with Luminaria bags in reflection, a caregiver who has lost a loved one may find comfort from a fellow caregiver who has faced a similar loss.
Meanwhile, a survivor gains hope and strength from others who have followed the same journey and survived. All resolve to keep fighting to save more lives so no more Luminaria bear the names of those lost to the disease.
Teams take turns doing laps, but there must be one member from each team on the track at any given time during the relay event. There is a lot of fundraising as well, through concessions, games, and other activities.
As volunteers and donors, your efforts support research, education, advocacy, and services that allow the American Cancer Society to offer help and hope to people across the country when they need it most. By joining together at Relay, we celebrate life, friendship, and an opportunity to work to defeat cancer for future generations
This year's program lineup is as follows:
5:00 p.m.: Dessa Ray
5:25 p.m.: Wanda and Vonda (singing in honor of their mother Clata Redmon)
5:40 p.m.: Kathy Goodwin
Presentation of Colors by Boy Scout Troop #347
The National Anthem sing by Suzanne Slager
Invocation by Donnie Kelly, Pastor of the Smithville First Assembly of God
6:00 p.m.: Opening Ceremony
Welcome: Renea Cantrell
Introduction of Cancer Survivors
Prayer for Cancer Survivors by Wendell Judkins
Song Honoring Cancer Survivors by Shelly Cross and Bonnie Rigsby
6:45 p.m.: David Turner and Friends
7:15 p.m.: Tina Boston
7:30 p.m.: Fluty and the Flutones
7:45 p.m.: Suzanne Slager
8:00 p.m.: Kevin Roberts (Elvis)
8:15 p.m.: New Life Pentecostal
8:30 p.m.: Praise Group
8:45 p.m.: TBA
Prayer by Dwayne Cornelius, Pastor of the New Life Pentecostal Church
9:15 p.m.: Church of God Receiving Ministries
9:30 p.m.: Smithville First Assembly of God Youth Group
9:45 p.m.: Elizabeth Chapel Singers
10:00 p.m.: Tom Duggin
10:30 p.m.: Pam Page Arts Ministry
11:30 p.m.: Closing Ceremony
Midnight: Relay Ends
Wendell Judkins and George Taylor will emcee the program. Sound provided by the New Life Pentecostal Church