Previously the event has been held at Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School. But due to ongoing construction at the school, the location of the event has changed to Gilbert-Stephenson Park in Fort Oglethorpe.
The track located behind the park on the corner of Norris Street and Van Cleve Street will be illuminated for the evening activities from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Usually an all-night affair, symbolizing the fact that cancer never sleeps, this event will hold closing ceremonies at midnight.
Relay for Life is a global movement affecting the lives of almost every person. The event is an opportunity for people in Walker and Catoosa counties to honor cancer survivors and remember loved ones lost.
But most of all, the event is a chance to raise awareness and money to support cancer research. Approximately 76 percent of the money raised for the event will stay in the community to assist cancer patients and find a cure, according to event co-chair Barbara Marshall.
“It just really humbles you to see 20-year-olds and children fighting for their lives,” Marshall said. “It is the most moving thing I have ever been to. If everyone in the community gave $1, a life could be saved, maybe not today but for our children and grandchildren.”
Currently there are 25 teams and 87 participants. Last year the event raised $35,000 and this year the goal is $50,000.
Event organizers plan to host another can food drive this year. Using the weight of the cans to hold down the luminaries, participants will be remembering their loved ones with luminary bags while simultaneously giving a gift to the community.
Music and performances will be held in the center of the track as survivors and teams walk. A new attraction to this year’s event is the womanless beauty contest. Prominent men in the community have already agreed to adorn wigs and dresses for the contest, Marshall said.
“The journey to end cancer starts with a single step,” according to the American Cancer Society website. “The American Cancer Society invites you to take that step with us by joining the global Relay for Life movement.”
For more information visit relayforlife.org.