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Relay for Life is Friday here

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life kicks off Friday with a full entertainment schedule and a recordbreaking 23 Lamar County teams – and a record-breaking number of members – working to raise the goal of $72,000 for cancer research and treatment. Relay will run from 7 p.m. Friday, May 7, when opening ceremonies begin and will end at 7 a.m. Saturday, May 8. ’Come see the community spirit Barnesville has,’ said co-chair Kim Wall. The welcome will be given for the second year in a row by Barnesville city councilwoman Anne Claxton followed by an invocation by the Rev. Jay Tenney. ‘Last year when Anne gave the welcome she hadn’t been diagnosed yet,’ said co-chair Kelly Hughes. ‘Now she’s a survivor. The goal of it all is to find a cure for cancer.’ Norma Greenwood will sing the National Anthem just before the first lap is walked by local survivors and their caregivers. Some 200 cancer survivors are listed in local Relay for Life rolls. ’Hopefully we’ll have a good turnout of survivors,’ said Wall. ‘They share their stories and support one another.’ Entertainment will begin around 7:20 p.m. with 4U2C, followed by the high school band and Life Line from First Baptist Church. All the entertainers have volunteered their services and use of a private sound system has been donated. ’We’ll have really good sound this year,’ said Hughes. The luminaria ceremony, led by Austin Ogletree, will begin around 9:30 as darkness falls. School Beta Club members will light the candles in memory of cancer’s victims and in honor of its survivors. ’Cancer doesn’t discriminate,’ said Hughes. ‘It hits the entire spectrum of the community. That was represented at Relay last year. It’s such an awesome sight.’ Entertainment resumes again with the Crossroads Praise Team from First United Methodist Church and the ever popular Miss Relay contest will be held at 11 p.m. After the contestants strut their stuff, music will resume with Southwind and Take Cover, DJ Uncle Jeff, Carly Thompson and Brad Weaver. Around 4 a.m. there will be volleyball and other games to keep attendees active until the Fight Back ceremony and team recognition awards are given out starting at 6 a.m. More laps and cleanups will begin around 6:30 a.m., with the closing ceremony and final lap set for 7 a.m. ’The big thing is for people to know it’s a family event,’ said Hughes. ‘Even if you’re not on a team, come on out and enjoy the activities.’

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