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Be a part of the cure through Relay for Life

Relay for Life is the primary fund-raising event for the American Cancer Society that gets members of the community together in a fun and competitive setting.

A few months before the Relay for Life main event, people form teams to raise funds through several different and creative ways, from bake sales to dog shows, from yard sales to car washes.

This year’s Marengo County Relay for Life main event is this Friday, April 16, at the River Field in Demopolis.

The event begins at 4:30 p.m. with the registration for the survivor dinner, which begins at 5 p.m. The opening ceremony begins at 6 p.m. with the survivors’ lap, followed by the caregivers’ lap and the parade of teams.

Sales of luminaria — paper bags lit by candles with the name of a loved one who either has cancer or who died from the disease — will begin at 6:30 p.m. The luminaria ceremony will begin at 8:45 p.m., and the closing ceremony will begin at 11 p.m.

The emcee for this year’s event is “Daddy D” of WZNJ-FM.

“Relay for Life brings together 3.5 million people every year,” said Jimbo Ward, the publicity chair for Marengo County Relay for Life. “It celebrates the lives of people who have battled cancer and the strength of the survivors who inspire others to continue to fight.

“I’ve always taken my mother. She was a survivor, so I always took her and dropped her off and left her. I never was involved until three years ago, when my daughter had it. I was just amazed at the people — how they worked and the money that was raised. Last year, after I lost my daughter, I wasn’t up to participating, but this year, instead of being involved in a committee, I wanted to raise the money myself. So, I formed a team: me, my daughter’s childhood friends and her oldest son walked from Linden to Demopolis and raised money per mile.”

For those who don’t know how they can help in the search for better cancer treatments or even a cure for cancer, Relay for Life is the answer by providing a means for people throughout the community to make donations in a fun and meaningful way.

Cancer affects friends, families and loved ones. It is a weed with roots that extend in all directions. In some way, someone you know or care for has been affected by cancer.

There is encouraging research going on today, research that has already saved millions of lives and continues to utilize new frontiers through the genome project to learn more about the cause of — and a potential cure for — cancer. The donations and contributions made by people within the community make those strides possible.