With Over 20 different countries and well over 5,000 individual events, Relay for Life has raised nearly 5 billion dollars in funds for cancer research. Here locally in LaGrange and Troup County, the local Relay for Life event took over the Chris Joseph track behind Whitesville Road Elementary School. The event had so many different moving parts, including games, music, corn hole, face painting, and so much more. From open to close the event was thrilling and paid honor to the survivors and those that have left us far too soon.
Master of Ceremonies Michael Jones ushered the crowd in to begin the ceremony. After the National Anthem from the incredibly talented Erika Whitney Scott and the Pledge of Allegiance from the honorable Mayor Jim Thornton, the event was underway. The presentation of the colors that night was given by the LaGrange Fire Department Color Guard. Josh Rhye from Three Life Church said a special prayer for all of those in attendance before a special song was done by students from the West Point Elementary School Character Chorus. There were also special presentations of checks from KMMG (KIA) and WellStar West Georgia Medical, who donated $31,000 and $10,000 respectively. The Grand Marshal for this year’s event, Kevin Dunn, sang “I believe I can Fly” before the ribbon was cut and the survivor’s lap was underway.
For the next three hours, there was fun everywhere to be found. There were tents up all over the field representing different organizations. In fact, awards were given to the tents. Third place went to Emory, second place to West Georgia Technical College, and first place to BB& T. There were kids playing in the middle of the field and smells of delicious foods coming from many of the various tents that had been set up. People were laughing and conversing all around.
There were various forms of entertainment going on all around that night. Scott continued to sing various songs from the stage, the kids had games and the “social media walk” where they all took selfies, and there were some groups that put on special performances. At 10 that night, the luminary service began. All in attendance gathered around a screen to see the names of all of those that have left us due to cancer. In the bleachers, the bags with the candles spelled out the word HOPE. There was also a glow in the dark work out event hosted by Towne and Max Fitness before the final lap and closing ceremony.
The Relay for Life Event will pull in a huge sum of money for cancer research for the American Cancer Society. Behind this event is a team of dedicated, truly caring individuals that are invested in the lives of survivors, caregivers, and mourn for those that have left us. They work tirelessly around the clock and are to be thanked tremendously for their dedication to the cause. Donations can still be made for the 2017 season through August 31st.
You may make a donation online at www.relayforlife. org/troupga or you can make checks payable to the American Cancer Society and drop them off by the Troup County Parks and Recreation with attention to Lynn Howard. Thank you for your support.
Jeremy Andrews Staff Writer