AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY'S RELAY FOR LIFE AT ROAD ATLANTA EMPOWERS THE COMMUNITY TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST CANCER
On June 1 2012, 150 teams consisting of over 2,500 and more than 15,000 people are expected to spend the night walking around the race track at Road Atlanta as part of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life to raise funds and awareness to fight cancer. They will not only be taking steps to battle cancer in their community, they will be part of a movement to find a cure for this terrible disease and stamp out cancer for good.
"Relay For Life is a great event that brings every part of the community together for 12 hours for one common cause - fighting cancer," said Senior Community Manager, Andrea Shoemaker. "Cancer affects everyone of every age, socio-economic status and ethnic background. No one is immune to cancer. So it's important to unite as a community to fight cancer, to honor those who have survived it and to remember those who have lost their battles. Relay reminds us that we CAN do something to change the future of cancer and to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays for everyone."
Last year's Relay For Life at Road Atlanta attracted between 15,000-20,000 people and raised $467,290. This year's goal is 150 teams consisting of over 2,500 participants, more than 15,000 in attendance and $484,100 raised.
Relay For Life began in 1985 when one man decided to take action against cancer. Dr. Gordy Klatt put his love for running marathons to work to start the first Relay" in Tacoma, Washington, with a 24-hour run against cancer. Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He raised $27,000 to fight cancer. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt's friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course.
While he circled the track those 24 hours, he thought about how others could take part. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Months later he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer. In 1986, 19 teams took part in the first team relay event and raised $33,000.
Today, Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society's Signature Event, with more than 5,000 Relays taking place in communities Nationwide and several foreign countries. In Georgia alone, there more than 150 Relay events in communities statewide, including the Road Atlanta Relay.
What makes Relay special to so many people is that it's a life-changing event that gives everyone a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, fairground, and in this case, race tracks, and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events that last 12-24 hours in length; the Road Atlanta Relay is from 7pm-7am.
Although every Relay For Life is different, there are certain traditions at all Relays, no matter where they are held. These traditions help participants celebrate, remember, and fight back.
Each Relay begins with a celebration of cancer survivorship with a Survivors Lap - an time when survivors are invited to take the first lap around the track as other participants circle the track and cheer on the survivors. The Survivors Lap is an emotional example of how Relay participants are ensuring that more lives are saved each year - like those of each individual on the track. It also recognizes and celebrates caregivers at Relay. These individuals give their time, love, and support to friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers who face cancer. After the first lap, all Relay participants join survivors in walking the track.
After dark, people who have been touched by cancer are remembered and honored during a reverent luminary ceremony. Hundreds of candles light the night in bags filled with sand, with each bag bearing the name of a person who has survived cancer or who has lost their battle with the disease. Participants often take the opportunity to walk a lap in silence.
After team members walk the track all night, they close out the Relay event with an inspirational ceremony the next morning.
Relay For Life is more than just a fundraiser: It's a life-changing experience. At Relay, every person in the community has a chance to celebrate, remember, and fight back. And every person who participates joins others around the globe as part of this worldwide movement to end cancer.
"We invite everyone in Hall County to come join us at Relay For Life at Road Atlanta," said Gail Schneider, Relay Co-Chair/Volunteer. "Take action against a disease that steals too many lives of loved ones and friends every year. Come out and make a difference in the fight against cancer and help save lives in our community."
For more information on Relay For Life at the Road Atlanta, visit www.Hallrelay.org. Or go to relayforlife.org for more information on Relay For Life.
Related Web Site Links
Hall Relay: http://www.Hallrelay.org
Relay for Life: http://relayforlife.org