(Anderson County Relay for Life) Anderson County residents are asked to come out and enjoy the community festival at the American Cancer Society Relay For Life for Anderson County at Melton Lake Park in Oak Ridge on Friday, May 5th near the pavilion. This will be the first year that the former Oak Ridge and Clinton events have combined in to one larger event. The joint effort is sure to make the Relay For Life event bigger and better than ever with more activities to create a fun and festive atmosphere for families to enjoy. The goal this year is to raise at least $72,000 which can only be reached if the community comes out to join the fun and to support this event. There is still approximately $40,000 left to raise to reach this goal. This year’s event theme is, “Relay Around the World”.
Relay For Life events are held in over 5,200 communities nationwide and 27 countries. It is the world’s largest fundraising event to fight every cancer in every community. Individuals and teams set up campsites at an athletic track, park, or fairground, with the goal of keeping at least one team member walking at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps. “Cancer patients don’t stop because they’re tired, and for one evening, neither do we”, said Kim Monroe, event chair. Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their camp sites at the event. Relay For Life brings together friends, families, businesses, schools, and faith-based groups all aimed at furthering the efforts of the American Cancer Society to save lives by helping people stay well, get well and by finding cures. “Relay For Life draws attention to the progress being made by the American Cancer Society, and the work yet to be done,” said Kim Monroe.
The event will begin with opening ceremonies at 5:30 PM with a “Parade of Teams”. The Survivor Ceremony at 6:00 PM will honor cancer survivors as they are individually recognized prior to taking the group Victory Lap while being cheered on by their family, friends and the public. All area cancer survivors are invited to participate and may start registering as early as 4:30 PM. The fun will then begin with games and entertainment for the kids and adults. Activities will include: Bounce Houses, Kid’s activities, face painting and many more games and activities at the team campsites. Ghostbusters will also be present at the event to entertain the children. The Oak Ridge Veterinary team led by Dr. Kristin Novinger will host a Cornhole Tournament with $200 Visa gift cards to winners and $50 for second place. A dunking booth will be on premises from 5 to 7 PM to dunk your favorite local celebrities. There will also be opportunities to sign up for various prize items at the campsites including a beautiful pie safe handmade by a local cancer survivor, piñata and gift baskets. The teams welcome the public to come enjoy dinner or a snack. The teams will be selling a variety of foods from “Around the World”, including: tacos, nachos/fixing’s, Guinness beef stew, pizza, hot dogs/chili, snow cones, Honduran coffee, sweet treats and much more.
The first annual Relay For Life Twilight 5K Run/Walk is featured at the event with a start time of 8:00 PM. Registration is available on-line at www.runsignup.com by typing in Anderson county which will take you to the event page. You may choose to join a team of your choice or participate as an individual. The cost to participate is $40, but will increase to $45 if you register at the event between 6:45 to 8:00 PM. All participants will receive a race t-shirt. Awards will be given out after the 9:30 PM luminaria ceremony with awards to the top 3 males and females and the top 2 in each age category.
Entertainment at the event includes: Acoustic guitar play and singer, Barry Jolly at 6:30 PM, Shackdaddy performing southern rock at 7:30 PM and the band, “The Tenos” at 8:30 PM sharing their family bluegrass talents. In addition, there will be a live auction at 7:00 PM with Zach Farrar. Items include a used car from Viles Automotive, a used car from Oak Ridge Nissan, $500 towards a set of tires from Ray Varner Ford, Dollywood tickets, Wonderworks tickets, Jump Jam tickets, Museum of Appalachia tickets, grill, restaurant gift certificates, oil changes, massages, Lady Vols basketball tickets and many more items. The night will be concluded at 9:30 PM with the luminaria ceremony when hundreds of luminaria bags will be lit in the dark as we remember those persons we have lost their lives to cancer and honor our survivors. Closing ceremonies will take place at 10:30 PM.
EVERYONE IS INVITED to attend and enjoy the entertainment, food and activities. This is a great way to show your support for anyone who has survived their battle with cancer, to remember someone you have lost to cancer and to Fight Back by helping raise money for research so hopefully you or a family member won’t be the next one diagnosed with this terrible disease. When you participate in Relay For Life, you become a vital part of the 3.5 million people who are on a mission to save lives and celebrate life.
Money raised at our greater Knoxville area events in 2016 funded: 176 trips for patients to get to and from their treatments through Road to Recovery, provided more than 550 nights of lodging for patients traveling to the greater Knoxville area for treatment, allowed 142 women to participate in a Look Good…Feel Better class, provided 229 patients with free wigs and paired 52 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with a breast cancer survivor through the Reach to Recovery program. In addition, the Relay For Life events helped fund $8.15 million in Tennessee-based research including $40,000 at the University of Tennessee and more than $2.5 million at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. The American Cancer Society has supported 47 researchers who have received the Nobel Prize.
Event sponsors include: Powell Clinch Utility District, Clinton Physical Therapy Center, Y12 Federal Credit Union, ORAU, Take Charge Fitness Program, Centrus, Visionary Wealth Management Group, State Farm Herbie Clark, Allen Edmundson Electric, WATE TV and Star 102.1.