Relay for Life event raises thousands for cancer research
by JESS STAGGS
PRESTONSBURG — Hundreds of smiling people, scores of tents, funny costumes and purple shirts proudly proclaiming “Survivor,” set the scene on the campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College on Friday.
“This event brings people together from all walks of life to raise money for cancer research and awareness,” said Della Pack, the event coordinator.
The Relay for Life is an event by the American Cancer Society that has raised millions of dollars for cancer research and has been a tradition in Floyd County for nearly 13 years.
Pack explained that organizations and individuals formed sponsored teams to walk in the relay and every team was encouraged to raise at least $100 per person. Organizations that participated included rescue squads, banks, hospitals, fire departments, schools, churches and others.
Many cancer survivors attended the event and walked the ceremonial first lap after announcing their name and how long they have survived cancer. Spectators cheered as a wave of purple shirts began to walk along the walking track.
Mary Sloan, a teacher who had a group of students at the relay, explained, “An event like this gives us a chance not only to remember our fallen loved ones, but to honor those who have battled cancer personally. It is hard not to be moved by an experience like this.”
The relay lasted overnight and well into the next morning.
Pack, who was dressed in “Hillbilly” attire for the occasion, mentioned that $60,000 had already been raised and that thousands more were expected.
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