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Relay for Life: ‘Tooning out Cancer’

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life will be held on Saturday, May 11, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Lamar recreation department track. The survivors’ banquet is from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at Slices. ’So far 30 survivors have confirmed participation,’ said chairman Tracey Muise. ‘We typically have around 100 survivors walking.’ The theme this year is ‘Tooning out Cancer’ for some 20 teams and 145 participants. The top teams are Lamar County Primary School, the Merry Methodists and Barnesville First Baptist Church. Other teams listed include Heritage Inn, Love Lifts Us Up, United Bank, St. George’s Episcopal School Dragons, Gordon State College Cancer Crushers, Barnesville Chamber of Commerce, Bethel Baptist Sister to Sister Group, Calvary Baptist Church, the Lamar County and Barnesville fire departments in a combined team, Rock Springs Compassionate Hearts, Gordon State College Kick for a Cure, the middle, high and elementary schools and Top Dog Trojan, Eternal Hope Hospice and Lamar County sheriff’s office. Top participants were reported as Ruth Hice, Kim Basso and Kelly Walker. At least $13,517.26 had been raised toward the $37,000 goal before two fundraisers were held last weekend. The Merry Methodists provided a pancake breakfast and the fire department team had a turkey shoot and skeet competition. Fundraisers on site will include inflatables and bouncies, food, drink and face painting offered by multiple teams, a rock climbing wall, a $50 Longhorn gift certificate drawing by the Gordon State College Cancer Crushers, a basket drawing by Calvary Baptist, Trojan tattoos from the primary school and ‘“ unsurprisingly ‘“ a jail run by the sheriff’s office. Food on sites will include pizza by the St. George’s Dragons; ices, gyros, hot dogs and hamburgers by the Merry Methodists, Gordon State College Crushers and Calvary Baptist; chicken drummettes by Heritage Inn; cotton candy and funnel cakes by firefighters, and popcorn from First Baptist Church. The Relay, while shortened to 12 hours, will still include opening and closing ceremonies, the first lap walked by survivors and the luminaria ceremony. ’We’re still fine-tuning the schedule and are talking with some additional entertainment,’ said Muise. At 11 a.m. the opening ceremony will include an invocation by Rodney Harris and the singing of the National Anthem by the Rock Springs Choir. It will immediately be followed by the beginning survivor lap. The Rock Springs Choir will sing again at 11:30 a.m. At 12:30 p.m. the Southern Stars Twirling Team will perform. The elementary school chorus will come on at 4 p.m., followed by the middle school chorus at 4:30 p.m. and the middle school step team at 5 p.m. The high school band takes the stage at 5:30 p.m. Gordon State College performers will put on a show at 6:30 p.m. followed by Zumba with Ashleighanne Cowart at 7 p.m. and the Barnesville United Methodist Praise Choir at 7:30 p.m. Mackenzie Dyer and Biscuit (Junior Humphries) will perform together at 8:30 p.m. before Dyer leads the luminaria ceremony at 9 p.m. There will be line dancing with a DJ at 9:30 p.m. and the popular Miss Relay Contest at 10 p.m. Closing ceremonies will begin at 10:30 p.m. Relay For Life participants and donors remember loved ones lost to cancer and honor those battling the disease by dedicating luminaria. The paper bags containing votive candles are illuminated after dark. Each luminaria is personalized with a name, photo, message or drawing in memory or honor of a friend or loved one affected by cancer. Luminaria can also be dedicated in support of a Relay participant. Each luminaria candle represents a person ‘“ mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends, coworkers and so many others. The Lamar County commission has declared May Paint the County Purple Month in honor of Relay.

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