Ready, Set, Relay For Life!
Months of fundraising and planning culminate this Friday and Saturday when Relay For Life teams takeover the Fulton County Fairgrounds to walk in a 24-hour event that benefits the American Cancer Society (ACS).
The ACS' signature fundraiser, Relay For Life supports the Cancer Society in its lifesaving mission to eliminate cancer as a major health issue and will kick off Friday at 5 p.m.
In 2009, the ACS estimates that 766,130 men and 713,220 women will be diagnosed with cancer and that cancer will kill 292,540 men and 269,800 women. One in every three people will get the disease in their lifetime.
According to the ACS, since 1946, it has invested more than $3 billion in cancer research. Annually, more than $130 million is dedicated to cancer research, including over $28 million in grants to Pennsylvania research institutions.
The money raised at Relay For Life events across the nation helps to save lives by allowing the ACS to continue funding cutting-edge cancer research, early detection and prevention education, advocacy efforts and patient services.
Fulton County Relay For Life Chairman Anthony D'Anna says Fulton County's Relay Committee hopes to raise $40,000 at this year's Relay, the 15th consecutive Relay For Life held in Fulton County. He said 19 teams will take part in this year's walk.
Last year's Relay raised approximately $34,000 for the ACS, D'Anna said.
One team this year, the Fulton County Medical Center Angels, has already reached its team goal of $10,000.
"Other teams seemed to be doing well also with raffles and other fundraisers," said Connie Woodruff, ACS staffperson for the Fulton County Relay, despite the recession that has put many people here out of work.
Donations can still be made to Relay For Life up to and through the event on Friday and Saturday.
Relay For Life will officially get under way at 5 p.m.when Fulton County cancer survivors are recognized and walk the opening lap. Following a balloon release, the survivors and Relay team members will enjoy a chuckwagon style meal in keeping with this year's "Cancer Roundup" theme, with music performed by the Country Cousins.
Survivor and team registration take place from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The luminaria ceremony at 9 p.m. will honor the people who have faced cancer firsthand and remember those who have been lost to cancer. Luminarias can be purchased for a suggested donation of $5 each Friday at the fairground until 8 p.m.
Other activities scheduled for the Relay include an 8 a.m. scavenger hunt; a Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back ceremony at 9 a.m.; a Wagons Ho! lap at 10:30 a.m.; a silent auction at noon; raffles; and a Hoedown talent contest at 1:30 p.m. Also on tap for the weekend, with proceeds to benefit Relay For Life, are a 6:30 p.m. concert Saturday at the Fulton County Alumni & Friends Association building in McConnellsburg and a Sunday 9 a.m. horse show at the fairgrounds.
D'Anna said visiting the Relay this weekend would be a "good way to remember those lost to cancer and to celebrate those who have survived."