Monticello welcomes back Relay For Life


A group of volunteers in Monticello is working to bring the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life back to Jones County. The event is set for the evening of Friday, Aug. 10. Relays across the country honor cancer survivors, victims and caregivers. This photo was taken at the RFL in 2011 as the survivors take the first lap. (Express file photo)
By: 
Hannah Gray
Express Intern

     On Friday, Aug. 10, Relay For Life is coming back to Monticello, and everyone’s invited. The event will be held at the Dean Nelson Field from 5 to 10 p.m.

     Amanda Hackney and Melissa Ehrisman, co-chairs of the event, are working behind the scenes to bring back The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Jones County. This event brings members of the community together to honor those who lost their battle to cancer, survivors, and caregivers.

     Hackney and Ehrisman wanted to bring it back because of the importance it had in the community. “So many people we know, friends, family, dancers that we coach, have been affected in some way with cancer,” Hackney said.

     Alongside Hackney and Ehrisman, 15 other women are taking part on the committee. The committee overseas all aspects of the event, including the activities, logistics, and registration that will be going on before and during Relay For Life. This event would not be a success without their help.

     “We’re lucky enough that several people in our community are willing to step up and volunteer their time to help put this event on. I couldn’t have done it without my team,” Hackney commented.

     People of all ages are welcome to take part in Relay For Life. Each Relay around the world organizes different activities, speakers, fundraisers, and entertainment. This year there will be kids’ activities, a DJ, a concession stand and performances going on.

     Relay For Life is a community-funded organization and accepts all donations. This year’s event will include a silent auction to help raise money. In addition, there is a $10 registration fee paid by teams who choose to participate. All donations will go to the American Cancer Society. The money will be used for cancer research, patient support, prevention, education, detection and treatment areas.

     Members of each team will take turns walking around the track during the duration of the relay. Having at least one member of each team walking at all times signifies that cancer never sleeps.

     At each relay, cancer survivors and caregivers are honored with the opportunity to walk the first lap. During the second lap, teams and other participants are invited to join in.

     Another very special part of the event is the luminaria ceremony. During the ceremony, candle bags are lit and set around the track in honor of those who lost their battle to cancer. At dusk, candle bags will be available to purchase for $5.                     

     “Our significance for Relay For Life is giving back to our community and to celebrate and honor our loved ones,” Hackney said about Relay For Life.

     Relay For Life is a great way to unite with the community to support the ongoing battle fighting against cancer.

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