Relay for Life held its second annual Paint the Town Purple fundraising event on the Franklin town square last Saturday. The event was the season kickoff for Macon County Relay for Life's main fundraising activities, proceeds from which go to the American Cancer Society. The activities began around 4 p.m. with a small crowd which grew as the evening went on.
Anna Taylor, who co-chaired the event with Teresa Simmons, noted that at current rates, one in ten people will battle with cancer at some point in their lives. “Relay for Life is committed to funding a cure for cancer in our lifetimes,” said Taylor.
The fight against cancer is personal for Taylor. Thirteen members of her own extended family have been diagnosed with cancer within the last two years. Her grandmother passed away in 2009, and a year later her grandfather was diagnosed. Her grandfather is still fighting the disease courageously and will turn 75 on his upcoming birthday.
Taylor said that her family has received much support from the community. “This is why we do it, to give back,” she said of her work with Relay.
Taylor also noted optimistically that, unlike in decades past, a diagnosis of cancer is no longer a death sentence. Due in part to research funded by the American Cancer Society, significant strides have been made in treatment and recovery from cancer in recent years. Still, families battling the disease are hopeful that future breakthroughs will show the way to more effective treatments and ultimately a cure.
Two Relay for Life teams participated in the event – the Bailey Bunch and Macon Citizens for the Handicapped. Entertainment included music by Band of Brysons, as well as a demonstration by students from Danny Antoine's Karate Academy. There were also singing performances by choir students from the South Macon/Iotla Valley Chorus and the Singing Angels from Macon Citizens for the Handicapped.
An inflatable jumping castle was set up to entertain the little folks. The night concluded with a special memorial ceremony that included the lighting of luminaries for loved ones who have died from cancer.
Proceeds were raised by the sale of hotdogs, snow cones and drinks as well as the raffling off of a plaque with a Biblical scripture: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.
The annual Relay for Life Survivors dinner will be held on Friday, May 20, at the Cowee Baptist Church. To make reservations, contact Phyllis Castle at (828)369-4216 to make reservations. Be sure to register all the survivors on your team.