2012 Relay for Life a Community Success
The American Cancer Society’s 2012 Relay For Life of Fayette County was held May 18th and 19th at Falcon Field in Peachtree City. Over 1,000 participants, 90 teams, and a whole community of cancer survivors and their supporters gathered to help raise funds to support cancer survivors and research.
This year’s Relay started with local motorcycle group, the MooCow Bikers escorting the Relay Torch of Hope which was carried by Relay Ambassadors Meghan Wilson and Mike Galusha. They were joined by Terri Waldrop and Thomas Tutin, 2011 Relay Ambassadors; Jatin Patel, 2009 Relay Ambassador; and Mark and Edna King, parents of Mary Evelyn King the 2006 Relay Ambassador who lost her battle against neuroblastoma when she was 9 years old. The Ambassadors walked the track to “Hope Hill” where they lit the Relay Torch of Hope cauldron to signal the beginning of the 2012 Relay For Life.
Survivors and their caregivers walked the second lap of Relay and were serenaded by local vocalist Kaitlyn MacKenzie Fultz singing Martina McBride’s “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” and Cher’s “You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me.” “Kaitlyn did an amazing job singing the 2012 Relay theme songs” stated Event Chairperson, Mahli Lowder. “Our Entertainment Chairperson, Zach Stutts really had a great entertainment line-up, it kept all of the participants upbeat all night long. Local band House of Thomas, was awesome and everyone is looking forward to purchasing their newest album. Positive Vibes, the local DJ company of Merv Sweeting and his wife, Lisa Sweeting, a cancer survivor, kept the Relay music going all night long.”
There are always lots of activities and things to purchase at Relay. This year there were balloon animals, caricatures, glow sticks, jewelry, face painting, human hamster balls, bouncy houses, Lorax trees, Who Hair, and a magic show. Food ranged from icing shots, hotdogs, hamburgers, barbecue, fish, chicken wings, Chick-Fil-a sandwiches and icedream, cupcakes, homemade bratwurst, funnel cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered pretzels, donuts, cookies and much more. There was something for everyone.
At 9:00 PM there was an emotional ceremony for lighting torches purchased in honor and memory of cancer survivors on “Hope Hill” and then luminaria, also in honor and memory of cancer survivors were lit at 10 p.m. “Mary Lou Goehring, Torch Chairperson and Robyn Chesnut, Luminaria Chairperson did a wonderful job of making sure all the torches and luminaria were set up on “Hope Hill” and around the track. Survivors were able to relax in a Survivor Expo tent, sponsored by Pain Care. Demonstrations were provided about programs that are offered at the Piedmont Fayette Cancer Wellness Center.
Approximately $50,000.00 was raised the night of Relay, bringing the event total to $338,000.00. “We are very proud the Fayette Relay met the American Cancer Society’s $212 in 2012 challenge “ said Event Co-Chairperson, Marji Clark. “The challenge asked events to average $212 fundraising for each registered participant. Events that met this challenge have a very special $212 in 2012 emblem on the sleeve of their participant t-shirts. We had some very strong fundraisers that helped us meet this challenge, one of them being this year’s Relay Ambassador, Meghan Wilson. Meghan’s team has already earned over $7,000. Fayette County really has a lot to be proud of.”
Relay teams come from near and far to participate in the Fayette Relay. Delta Airline’s Motown Madness, a Relay team from Detroit, Michigan won this year’s Spirit Competition. Their team was active throughout the night, they even brought a small toy fire truck for the “Fired Up” lap. “This team has a lot of fun and brings a lot of energy and spirit to the event. It is kind of sad to see the Spirit trophy leave Georgia, but they really did a great job of participating all night in the activities,” commented Marji Clark.
Relay teams are not finished raising money. A post event fundraising challenge has been issued for June 1 through June 10th. Best Buy of Peachtree City has donated a Kindle reader that will be awarded to one lucky registered participant (you can still register or donate to support a friend by visiting www.relayforlife.org/fayettecounty. One chance will be awarded for every $100.00 raised during the post event challenge.
There will be a Relay wrap-up party on Thursday, June 21st at Peachtree Christian Church, located at 500 Kedron Drive in Peachtree City. All Relay participants are invited to attend. The post-event challenge winner will be chosen at this event. Donations to the 2012 Relay For Life will be accepted through the end of August.
“This event would not be possible without the wonderful volunteers, committee, ACS staff, participants, sponsors, survivors, caregivers and supporters.” Marji Clark states. “We had a lot of people that really stepped up at the last moment to help get this event pulled together. We were really blessed to have wonderful committee members that worked really hard to make this such a outstanding event. I wish I could personally thank each person who had a hand in making this such a wonderful experience for so many people.”