From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. over 370 cancer survivors and 860 participants attended the annual event with a Hollywood theme to support cancer research and awareness.
Groups of participants signed up in teams from all over the community from small local businesses, banks, larger corporate companies, schools and churches. Each team worked to raise money through fundraisers in anticipation of the Relay for Life event.
According to Co-Chair of Relay for Life Gordon County Pam Stewart, 43 teams participated in over 100 fundraisers for the American Cancer Society.
At the Relay for Life event, the teams set up tents, food, games and activities for participants who stayed all 12 hours.
The event began at 5 p.m. with food for survivors, followed by a survivors lap honoring survivors and caregivers to kick off the events, according to Stewart.
At dark, after the survivors lap, all other participants walked a lap around the circle lighted by 2,200 white and gold luminary bags, as well as lighted tiki torches and rose bushes that lined the walking circle, each one there to symbolize loved ones lost to cancer.
Team Mohawk has raised the most money with $8,917 followed by team Raisin Benjamin and Gordon Hospital Cancer Resource, both of which have raised over $7,000 each.
The top three individual participants are Christy Bowers with $3,389 raised, Christy Reeves with $2,625 raised, and Jessica Guess with $2,316 sold.
Each team and participant has a reason for their participation in Relay for Life; some are personal experiences with cancer and others are just getting involved and lending a helping hand. Each team and individual’s stories are located at relayforlife.org/Gordon.
Though not all participants were on a team, even youngsters such as those at W.L. Swain Elementary wanted to get involved, and ended up contributing over $1,000 worth of donations for the American Cancer Society.
According to Stewart, students from W.L. Swain elementary sold $1,600 worth of little circles they sold for a quarter.
“The kids have really been involved and that is really good because some of them might not know what cancer is, but they may have been impacted by it somehow,” said Stewart.
Additionally, a Fairmount student within the Gordon County community individually raised $143 selling American Cancer Society starbursts.
White luminary bags were sold for $5, gold luminary bags were sold for $25, tiki torches were sold for $50 and rose bushes were sold for $100. All could be marked in memory of a loved one, and all were lined around the track for the event.
Relay for Life Gordon County was only a small event to help raise money, and the goal has been set for $135,000 and will not end until August, according to Community Manager, Dani Walsh, for the American Cancer Society, who considered the event a huge success.