Relay for Life is working toward $255,000 goal
by Special to the Banner
May 14, 2013 | 818 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One of the most important moments at the annual Relay for Life is the Survivors Lap. Despite the rain, there was a good turnout on May 3 and 4.
One of the most important moments at the annual Relay for Life is the Survivors Lap. Despite the rain, there was a good turnout on May 3 and 4.
Despite the heavy rainfall and flooding May 3 and 4, the Bradley County Relay for Life had an amazing event, according to Angela Mathis, senior community representative for the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society.

The 20th anniversary event has raised $120,000 toward the $255,000 goal.

Mathis said there is still time before the end of the fiscal year on Aug. 31 to reach the goal.

On Friday evening, everyone witnessed a beautiful and touching ceremony with luminaries circling the entire track. The highlight of the evening was seeing HOPE spelled out in the bleachers and the stunning sky lanterns as they carried messages to new heights, she said.

The rains came in early the next morning, and did not let up.

Since the safety of the guests and volunteers is of the utmost importance, the decision to end the Relay at noon and try to do something at a later date with the two main event bands, Dexter Thomas and Collins Brothers, was made.

Plans are in place to have a summer “Relay Festival” with Relay teams selling food, bands, locks of love and a live auction along with several other activities to help the Relay move closer to its goal.

Money is needed to continue the fight against cancer. Research is the main focus of the organization’s mission. Without research there will never be a cure. The American Cancer Society provides patient services and support, education and advocacy.

“We are making an appeal to the community to help in any way possible so that Bradley County can once again reach its goal,” Mathis said.

“The Bradley County Relay is widely known in the MidSouth Division as one of the top Relays. In 2012, the Relay was recognized as in the Top 20 Per Capita for Tennessee and No. 4 in income raised by a Tennessee Relay.

“If there is a company, business, church, organization or group that could not be a part of Relay due to their schedule or other reasons, we are asking them now if they would do a fundraiser to help us,” she said.

It could a book sale, bake sale, dress down at work day, or taking up donations in memory or honor of cancer survivors.

On May 22, the American Cancer Society will celebrate its 100th birthday — 100 years of saving lives and creating more birthdays.

This month is a perfect time for groups that have never been involved with Relay or have not been involved in a long time to do an event to help celebrate 100 years and reach the goal.

“We believe this milestone is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate our lifesaving progress, raise additional funds to finish the fight, and let everyone know that cancer’s time is up,” Mathis said.

“As the official sponsor of birthdays, the American Cancer Society knows how important each and every birthday can be. We’re leading the way to transform cancer from deadly to treatable, and from treatable to preventable. The progress we’ve helped make in the past 100 years is remarkable. We believe we’ve done more than any other cancer-fighting organization on the planet.”

For more information about how to get involved with the Bradley Relay Festival or to do a fundraiser, call 855-2778 or go to