There is much to celebrate and much still to achieve. With a definite chill in the air, the 2007 Relay for Life began laying the groundwork for the June event with a dessert reception at the Airport Hilton.
Relay is a community event that lasts from dusk to dawn with the goal of raising money and awareness for cancer research. It will be held on the campus of Maryville College again this year on June 8-9, and will feature the relay, luminaries, food, activities, entertainment and a host of other events.
Chairs for 2007 are Mark and Cathy Cate. They began the evening by recapping the 2006 Relay and presenting the MidSouth Division Volunteers of the Year award to last years chairs, Fred and Carolyn Forster, and the MidSouth Division Multiple Team Award to Blount Memorial Hospital.
As this is the 10th anniversary of the Relay for Life in Blount County, the evening also featured a recap of the beginnings of Relay. The growth over the years was evident as the audience heard the numbers:
- 1997 -- 2 teams, $1,500 raised
- 1998 -- 2 teams, $3,996 raised
- 1999 -- 8 teams, $33,425 raised
- 2000 -- 14 teams, $63,067 raised
- 2001 -- 37 teams, $108,461 raised
- 2002 -- 50 teams, $111,697 raised
- 2003 -- 58 teams, $118,417 raised
- 2004 -- 84 teams, $167,041 raised
- 2005 -- 78 teams, $200,425 raised
- 2006 -- 93 teams, $206,378 raised
The purple ribbon that symbolizes Relay for Life are already being seen as the fund-raising for many of the teams begins with the holidays. The theme for 2007 is "Happy Birthday," and the goal is to raise $250,000 with more than 100 teams.
To join a team, form a team or offer other support for Relay for Life, contact Marion Westerling at the American Cancer Society, 865-584-1668.