In July 17-23 issueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal ReporterABOVE: 332 lighted candles honoring those who have battled cancer lit the night at the Relay For Life local event, which was held Friday night into daybreak Saturday at the Russell Springs Elementary School.
RUSSELL SPRINGS - The Russell County Relay For Life organization raised more than $60,000 for the American Cancer Society during this year's event, according to Rick Neff with the Russell County American Cancer Society.
The Relay took place on the track of the Russell Springs Elementary School this past Friday and Saturday to celebrate the lives of local cancer survivors and to remember those whom the disease has claimed.
Thirteen active teams participated in the overnight event designed to celebrate cancer survivorship and raise money for research programs of the American Cancer Society, according to Neff, one of the planning members of the Relay For Life. The goal for this year's Relay was $60,000 and as of Tuesday morning that had been exceeded with $60,173.20 raised.
Neff said that more money was expected to trickle through the rest of this week.
The 12-hour-event began at 5 p.m. Friday, July 11, with a "survivor" dinner of fish, hush puppies, baked potatoes, baked beans and cole slaw sponsored and prepared by Vernon Kniffley Excavating and Rick Neff, HVAC.
"There were 43 survivors registered for this year's Relay but we know a few more came in later," Neff said.
Neff also said that 332 luminaria (candle lanterns) honoring those who have battled the disease were lit around the school's track, creating a memorable display. This also helped to light the relay track through the night for the Relay walkers, who took turns walking laps for a cure.
Participants took part in numerous games and activities during the event with one of the more popular being a Nintendo Wii game console with several games.
Angie Wilson, event chairperson for Russell County, wished to thank all event organizers and participants on another successful Relay.
Neff said the more than 300 Russell Countians took part in this year's Relay For Life.
Corporate sponsors for the event included the Jamestown Healthcare Clinic, Commonwealth Cancer Center, First National Bank, Bank of Jamestown, Monticello Banking Company, Russell County Ambulance Service, South Kentucky RECC and Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital.
The Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society's signature activity and offers everyone in a community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer, according to their Web site.
Neff said that the date for next year's Relay has already been set and will be July 10, 2009. He said anyone wanting to get involved with the Relay For Life could call him at 270-866-7141 or Brooke Cary with the American Cancer Society's Somerset office at 606-678-0203.
Also to participate, form a team, or dedicate a luminaria at the local American Cancer Society Relay For Life, you can call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org
Relay For Life has three main purposes, according to event organizers: To celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, to remember loved ones lost to the disease and to fight back against the disease.
There is not a required amount of money to raise in order to participate in Relay For Life. The only requirement to participate in Relay For Life is the $10 registration and commitment fee that is due upon registration.
After that, anything you can raise through individual, team, or online fundraising is accepted, according to their Web site.