According to the American Cancer Society cancer is one of the leading causes of death and subsequently affects most people either personally or through family and friends.
“It is difficult to find an individual or family that has not been touched by cancer in some way,” said Gretchen Barkley, senior community manager for the American Cancer Society. “Many of us know a cancer survivor that has been victorious over the disease, but we know many that have lost their lives to cancer.”
For nearly 20 years the American Cancer Society has hosted the annual Bartow Relay for Life and the community continues to come together to show support for those who have been touched by the disease.
This year’s Relay for Life will be Friday at 7 p.m. at Dellinger Park and Barkley said the event unifies the community.
“The community has been great to support the event without being on a team,” Barkley said. “It is a family-friendly atmosphere where you can socialize, eat great food, listen to the entertainment and support a great cause at the same time.”
Barkley said 107 teams have signed up with the goal of raising $300,019.
“This is our 19th year of holding a Relay For Life event in Bartow County so we made our goal reflect that celebration,” Barkley said.
Those who would like to volunteer for the event may contact Barkley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (770)429-1624 to find out where help is needed or come to the event and ask an event committee person where they can lend a hand.
Co-chairperson for the event Benita Hill, a cancer survivor who has participated in Relay for Life for more than a decade, said she has found purpose through her work with the Relay for Life.
“I do this because I want to find a cure,” Hill said. “This is my passion.”
Denise Orr, who also serves as co-chairperson, said she is inspired by the survivors.
“When you see how brave they are it makes you want to work harder,” Orr said. That seems to be the theme when we talk to people. It becomes your passion.”