A kick-off ceremony for the 2013 installment of Cooke County Relay for Life, benefiting American Cancer Society, is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Stanford House, 401 W. Garnett St. in Gainesville.
The Relay event itself has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, May 3, at Leopard Stadium in Gainesville — and organizers are now on track to exceed the locally gathered 2012 campaign proceeds of $130,000.
How Relay for Life unfolds
Opening Ceremony: Relay for Life’s opening ceremony brings participants together for a high-energy event kickoff to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer; to inspire hope by sharing recent accomplishments and progress; and to remind everyone that while cancer research and treatment are winning the battle against the disease, fighting it is a year-round priority.
Survivors Lap: During the “Survivors Lap,” upbeat music plays as all cancer survivors at the event take a first lap around the Leopard Stadium track, cheered on by the other participants who line the track. The walkers celebrate their victory over cancer.
Caregivers Lap: During the “Caregivers Lap,” anyone who ever cared for someone with cancer walks a lap so they can be honored for their support. Caregivers walk this lap with the people they helped if they are also present at the event.
Luminaria Ceremony: The “Luminaria Ceremony” is a time to remember people lost to cancer; to support people who currently have cancer; and to honor people who have fought cancer in the past. The power of this ceremony lies in providing an opportunity for people to work through grief and find hope.
Fight Back: The “Fight Back Ceremony” symbolizes the emotional commitment made to the fight against cancer. The action taken represents what participants are willing to do for themselves, their loved ones and their community to fight cancer year-round and to commit to saving lives.
Closing Ceremony: “The Closing Ceremony” is a time to remember the lives of those lost and to celebrate the fact that each participant has committed, through involvement with in a Relay event, to fight back against this disease over the next year.
A recap of Relay for Life 2012
During 2012, local participants teamed up and raised a final total of $130,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Stacy Dickerson, the county organization’s chair and volunteer, said the 2012 campaign effort included the input of 40 local teams — and in a statement, she gave thanks to all who took part.
“The outstanding support received proves that the people of Cooke County are truly committed to the fight against cancer,” Dickerson said in September. “I want to applaud the 84 survivors plus all the caregivers who participated in the opening lap and the survivor recognition. They are the reason we continue to fight. We want them to celebrate more birthdays.”
The 2012 installment was originally May 4, at Leopard Stadium, but heavy evening rains stalled the proceedings and forced organizers to restage them on May 19, in the Gainesville High School gymnasium.
The scaled-down version, called “Relay Recovery,” occurred after teams had already raised $96,000 of the initial $100,000 goal. But the final tally exceeded the goal, since fundraising continued beyond Relay events and through all of May.
“We are just astonished and feel very blessed that our community has come out to support us,” Dickerson said in early May.
She also added that it’s not too early for anyone to consider the fundraiser’s 2013 installment, which now commences soon.