The relay returns this year on May 3, but the annual kickoff event is coming up at 6 p.m. on Jan. 15 at the Farm Bureau in Calhoun.
“This is our big celebration to kick off the relay season and get everyone excited,” said Dani Walsh of the American Cancer Society, the event sponsor. “We will announce the theme for this year at the kick-off as well. Everyone is invited whether they have relayed before or not and we will also be providing dinner.”
Every year the event raises thousands of dollars that go towards the fight against cancer. Walsh is hoping for the same this year.
“This year we are looking to get as many teams in the community as we can,” Walsh said. “Right now we are only reaching a small part, but we know that the more participation we have, the more funds we can raise, and the more we can fight back.
“Our goal is to have at least 50 teams participate, raise at least $130,000 and honor at least 400 survivors at the relay.”
The event brings in sponsors and partners from around the area each year and Walsh anticipates more of the same this year.
“We have all sorts of groups that participate,” Walsh said. “We have some banks and other businesses from the community along with churches, civic and community organizations, the hospital and other healthcare groups, along with the city and county schools. This year we are trying to get more churches and businesses involved.”
Even though the Relay for Life is a fundraiser, it is also about remembering those who have lost the fight to cancer and those still battling.
“The relay is a very important event in the Gordon county community,” Walsh said. “It is a way for everyone in the community to fight back against this disease “In Memory” and “In Honor” of family, friends, and other loved ones. It gives the youth an opportunity to give back and help in the fight.”
Like many, Walsh has had family members impacted by cancer and understands the kind of fight it takes to beat the disease.
“This event means so much to me because the battle with cancer has hit my family and friends hard in many ways,” Walsh said. “But the best thing about this event, is that it isn’t about me, it’s about the Gordon County community coming together in unison to fight back.”
The relay begins at 7 p.m. on May 3 and runs through 7 a.m. Saturday, May 4 and will be held at the fairgrounds.
For additional information, visit: www.gordonrelay.org