Relay' to raise money for cancer research

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Supporters will gather to remember those lost to cancer, and celebrate those who are surviving it.

The local American Cancer Society office will have the 2011 Relay For Life of Clayton County event from Friday, May 13, to Saturday, May 14, from 7 p.m., to 1 a.m., at the Southern Crescent Stadium, 6231 Garden Walk Blvd., in Riverdale.

According to Nichole Adams, community manager for the American Cancer Society in Peachtree City, the office serves 12 counties, including Clayton and Henry.

"Basically, our motto is ‘Cancer never ends and neither do we,'" said Adams.

She said survivors of different cancers, such as breast, cervical and prostate, attend the event. There will be a survivors' reception at 6 p.m. Survivors should register on the event's web site –– www.relayforlife.org.

The activities will begin at 7 p.m., with a survivor and care-giver lap around the stadium track, kicking off the event, she said. There will be entertainment throughout the night.

The Luminaria Ceremony will begin at 9:30 p.m., and will allow participants to remember a loved one who battled cancer, or died because of the disease, she added.

During the ceremony, each participant will light a candle and place it inside a paper bag, which will be placed on the track. Each bag will have the name of the recognized person. Supporters will then walk a silent lap together for those individuals.

She said the event is an overnight activity that typically lasts 12 hours.

Michelle Blothes, senior community manager for the local office, however, said the event will last six hours. Blothes was unable to elaborate on the subject, but said, "It just works out that we had to close early this year."

Adams said that the event raises money for cancer research, and programs of the American Cancer Society, such as "Road to Recovery," and "Look Good ... Feel Better."

She said the event is not accepting fund-raising teams at this point, but people interested in participating are welcome to attend and contribute monetary donations. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted at the event, she said.

Supporters, who are unable to attend, can still donate online visiting, www.relayforlife.org, she said.

According to Adams, to retrieve the event's page, click the "Search Using City/State," icon, under the "Find Local Events," section on the upper right hand corner of the web page. Type "Riverdale," and select the state of Georgia to find the event. Click on the "2011 Relay For Life of Clayton County, GA," icon to retrieve the event's page.

Adams said the effort is already close to its goal of $70,000, thanks to the help of teams and individuals who raised $64,900.

There are currently 481 individuals and 51 teams participating, she said. "We are close, we are very close," she said about reaching the goal.