ELKIN — Supporters and survivors in the fight against cancer joined together on Saturday for Relay for Life, the annual fundraising event of the American Cancer Society, held in communities all across the nation.
There were 86 team members representing 17 different teams for the event in Elkin, said Relay for Life Chair Amy Cochren.
Cochren has been involved with Relay for Life for six years and has served as the chair of the organizing committee for the last two years. Cochren said the Relay participants already had raised $18,610 towards their goal of $49,500. Relay participants will have until Aug. 31 to reach the fundraising goal. An additional $6,000 was turned in during Saturday’s event, held on the football field of Elkin High School.
The Relay began late Saturday afternoon with a welcome from Cochren who announced the theme of the event as “Relay to Oz,” encouraging attendees to “follow the yellow brick road to a cure.”
Kenny Gun, minister at Jonesville Pentecostal Holiness Church, shared a brief story about his teenage years on his school track team running the relay race. He said the team members in the middle of a relay race were the anchors that made the event a success and compared Relay for Life participants to that, saying it was their job to carry the baton for those battling cancer and to be the anchor so that those fighting the disease could finish strong.
Later in the evening, contemporary Christian band New Direction provided entertainment. At dusk came the lighting of the luminaries. Luminaries are sold for $10 each and may be purchased in honor or memory of a loved one who has battled cancer.
“All the luminaries were lighted as the luminary chair, Sherry Chappell, read an inspiring poem,” Cochren said. The luminaries spelled out the word HOPE.
As part of of the closing ceremony for the event, Terry Rose played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes as he led the final lap.
Kitsey E. Burns can be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.