EAST BEND — Despite overcast skies and scattered showers throughout the evening, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life successfully held its popular campaign drive at Forbush High School on May 9.
At Relay for Life events, communities across the globe come together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease. Organizers say the funds raised make a difference in the fight against cancer.
Relay for Life teams camp out overnight and take turns walking or running around a track or path at a local high school, park, or fairground. Events are up to 24 hours long. Relay protocol is for at least one person from the team to continuously walk on the track until the event concludes.
The event was held at Forbush High School and started at 6 p.m. with a traditional lap around the high school track by cancer survivors. In the second lap, survivors were joined by caretakers.
About 40 sponsors, many with tents were positioned along the home field and visitor side of the football field located inside the track field. The “Purple” sponsor was PVH. The “Diamond” sponsor was Yadkin County Baseball. “Gold” sponsors were Novant, Surry Community College, Unifi, Yadtel, Forbush High School, and In Memory of Roy Holman. The event also had silver and bronze sponsors.
Christi Matthews of Yadkinville, who was the Yadkin County Relay for Life event chairwoman, was pleased with the turnout.
“I think it’s going good. This is my first time. I do this for my mother, Bertha Prim, who passed away,” said an emotional Matthews. “She was a great cancer survivor from 1982 until she got bone cancer. She was a fighter. That’s why I do this to honor her. I get really emotional sometimes. I am so respectful of all those out here. I know what they go through. I have been part of this seeing my mother battle illness ever since I was in the third grade.”
According to Matthews, the event takes a lot of work, cooperation and communication.
“Just getting people to donate their time is hard. It takes special people. We have a great bunch right here in Yadkin County. A lot of people right now are walking and spending time visiting the tents. We have bands all night long, people singing, Zumba late into the morning,” said Matthews.
“It’s worth it to give up a day and not sleep,” she said.
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.
Anthony Gonzalez may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @newsgonz.