Ready for Relay: Annual cancer-fighting event to be held Friday

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

COVINGTON -- Newton County's Relay for Life benefiting the American Cancer Society will take place Friday at The Church at Covington located at 11975 Ga. Highway 142 in Oxford, and organizers are asking the community to come out for support.

"Most people have someone in their family that has been touched by cancer or know someone. If not, you never know when it might be a loved one or yourself, so you need to come out and support the fight," said Victoria Patrick, senior community manager for the American Cancer Society, Northeast Georgia area.

Relay for Life is an all-night event in which team members take turns walking or running to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m. and will include a survivors lap and a lap by all participating teams. This year, more than 375 cancer survivors and 67 teams are participating.

The lighting of luminaries honoring those who have survived or lost their battle with cancer will take place at 10:15 p.m. Luminaries can be purchased the day of the event. At 11:15 p.m., a celebrity look-alike contest called 15 Seconds of Fame will take place.

The event will also include games, entertainment and food. It will conclude at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Last year's relay raised more than $265,000. A portion of the money stays local, Patrick said. Services that benefit include the Look Good, Feel Better program at Newton Medical Center, which helps women with cancer get wigs and turbans and teaches them how to apply makeup and deal with other physical changes brought on by the disease. Also, some funds go to pay for transportation for patients to and from treatment.

Patrick encouraged survivors to come out and register prior to opening ceremonies to receive a free T-shirt and goody bag.

For more information on Relay for Life, visit www.relayforlife.org.