Relay For Life is Friday

Community night showcases a time to remember and celebrate

Planners for this year’s American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Blount County are wrapping up the final details for a night full of remembrance and celebration. More than 100 area teams have been working to raise money, create awareness and honor people who have bravely faced cancer.

“I always find it amazing that Relay For Life of Blount County participants are so dedicated and committed to joining the American Cancer Society in its mission of eliminating cancer,” said Marion Westerling, senior development representative of the American Cancer Society. “It is that commitment that makes this event one of the most successful in the state each year for us.”

Relay For Life will kick-off on the campus of Maryville College on Friday evening, May 29, with activities for the entire family. A Survivors’ Walk will start the event at 6 p.m. and a candlelight remembrance ceremony will begin at 10 p.m. The live music of Dixie Highway Band and Smooth Groove will entertain walkers during the 12-hour relay event.

“We realize that even the most dedicated groups struggle to keep a team member walking overnight,” Westerling said. “That’s why community planning volunteers have organized activities and entertainment that will last the entire event. From a Womanless Beauty Pageant to Relay Idol to a Live Auction, the teams have a chance to have fun while supporting the cause.”

Part of the fun includes the additional fundraising efforts that will occur at the event itself. Teams will be selling great food, drinks and opening a family-friendly children’s area that is stocked with rides and inflatables. While admission to the Relay For Life event is free, the children’s area charges a $5 fee for an all-evening pass.

All proceeds raised by the participating teams and everyone who joins them at the Relay For Life of Blount County event will go to the American Cancer Society.

“Our teams and their fundraising efforts are essential to making our dreams of creating a cancer-free tomorrow a reality,” Westerling said. “Last year, this event raised over $380,000 for our mission, and we hope that the community will help us surpass that goal at this year’s event. We want to encourage everyone to join us at Maryville College on May 29 at 6 p.m. as we celebrate life and remember those who have fought cancer.”

For more information, contact the American Cancer Society at 865-584-1668.

Friday’s schedule of events

5 p.m. - Survivor registration

6 p.m. -- Opening ceremony.

6:15 p.m. -- Survivor ceremony

6:45 to 8 p.m. -- Dixie Highway Band

8 p.m. -- Live Auction

8:30 to 10 p.m. -- Smooth Groove

10 p.m. -- Luminaria Ceremony

11 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- Games, team activities, including the Womanless Beauty Contest

6 a.m. -- Closing ceremonies

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