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Relay for Life captains prepare for event

Lowndes County Relay for Life captains met Monday, March 5 to register teams, make plans and get updates for this year's event to be held Friday, April 20 at the baseball complex in Hayneville from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m.

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

This year’s goal for the Lowndes County American Cancer Society Relay for Life is $35,000, and the theme is “Carnival for a Cure.”

The annual Relay for Life will be held Friday, April 20 at the Russell baseball complex in Hayneville from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m. And, as of Monday, March 5, Lowndes County has 15 teams signed up.

Last year the American Cancer Society wanted Lowndes County to raise $30,000 but the community said, “We don’t feel like we can be able to do that,” American Cancer Society Community Representative Bridgett Mills said.

So, she said, team captains decided that $25,000 was reasonable.

“But at the end of Relay Night, we had over $33,000,” she said. “So they well exceeded not only their own personal goals, but also the goal the American Cancer Society had for them.”

Mills said the majority of the goal is to help people fight cancer through prevention programs such as mammograms, a Hope Lodge and research.

Some of the dollars go to help with transportation grants for gas and for patients to stay free at Hope Lodge.

She also said checks are not written to individuals but are made instead to organizations that provide those services.

“It means a lot to me. We know they are more people surviving cancer these days than what it used to be,” Laura Gresham, a four-year breast cancer survivor of the Relay for Life, said of the upcoming relay event. She said her mother is also a breast cancer survivor.

Gresham said the American Cancer Society provides gas vouchers for doctor visits, medicine cards for medicine, and grants for medicines and treatments.

Zandra Hill Colston, event co-chairman, said current sponsors for the Lowndes County Relay for Life are: Dr. Johnnie Griffin, Casey Feed and Taylor Made Gaming, Lily Baptist Church and Macedonia Baptist Church. Her co-chairperson is Lakeisha Griffin.

The deadline for luminaria sales is April 10.

Upcoming event dates include: April 10 – Meeting at Hayneville Town Hall, committee at 5 p.m., captains at 6 p.m.; April 14 – Survivors and Caregivers Banquet, 4 p.m.; and April 19 – Bank Night at Hayneville Town Hall from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Awards this year will include Top Fund-raising Team, Top Fund-raising individual, Spirit of Relay, Bet Campsite, Best Food and Last Tent Standing.

According to 2011 information provided by Mills there were 56 cased of cancer in Lowndes County including 10 lung, seven breast, nine colorectal and eight prostate.