Cancer survivors offer a message of hope that is an inspiration to all of us and it is important for them, as well as those currently in treatment, to remember that they are not alone. Through continued research of this disease the survival rate has risen, and on Friday night, June 3rd, the American Cancer Society’s 17th Annual Macon County Relay For Life fundraising event will be held at Key Park, located on Church Street, here in Lafayette, beginning at 6 p.m.

In planning for another night to remember, the roster is full of familiar names and local talent, and the Master of Ceremonies, Randy East, will definitely bring spirit as well as honor to the event, as the community fights back against cancer, so that one day our loved ones will no longer have to hear the words, “you have cancer.”

The American Cancer Society’s signature activity, Relay For Life, raised over $43,000 in Macon County last year, and this event gives our community a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.

With a variety of activities planned and exciting entertainment scheduled for Friday night, we want people to realize that cancer never sleeps, is indiscriminate and knows no boundaries, as we catch a glimpse at the sacrifices this disease seems to demand from all of us at one time or another.

Offering everyone in the community a chance to participate in the fight against cancer, this year’s eleven teams including Citizens Bank, Macon Bank & Trust, Macon County Courthouse, Nestle’s Waters, Macon County General Hospital, Goodman-Yokley, Hillwood Helpers, Macon County High School Interact Club, Measure Up, Walgreens, and Wal Mart. They will take turns walking or running around the track with the common goal of eliminating this deadly disease that threatens the lives of our loved ones or claims another year of someone’s life. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the overnight event. “Much more than a walk, Relay For Life is a time to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loves one lost and fight back against the disease,” said Co-Chairman Lisa Yokley. “Those who have shared the same experience find common ground, and it is also a great way for people to meet other survivors in our community. By participating, you have the power to continue the American Cancer Society’s progress toward a future when cancer doesn’t take the lives of our friends and family.”

“The event actually off back in the fall,” explained Lisa, “with the various teams signing up and raising money for cancer in the following months, culminating in the fun-filled overnight event this Friday night. Raising over $43,000 dollars last year, Relay will offer something for everyone, from the newly diagnosed, to caregivers and friends, to long-term survivors.”

“Whether it’s a parent, sibling, friend or neighbor, we all know someone who has been touched by cancer. Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to this disease will never be forgotten, that those who face it will be supported and that one day it will be eliminated.”

The opening ceremonies will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the invocation by Benny Maggort and the National Anthem by Cherry Cole; 6:10 team introductions and banner parade; 143 Band; 6:45 p.m. activities; 7:00 Survivor Walk; 7:10 Community Choir & George Ridenoir; 7:45 activites; 8:00 Happy Hearts; 8:30 activities; 9:00 Luminaria Ceremony; 9:10 Kinship; 9:30 activities; 10:00 Two Tall Divas and a Tip Top Daddy; 10:45 activities; 11:00 Ethan Blair; 11:45 activities.

“Relay For Life is a great way for Macon County to demonstrate it’s commitment to fighting this disease,” continued Lisa, “so please join us at Key Park on Friday night, June 3rd, and help us prove we are making progress in this battle. Every dollar you raise makes a difference to people in our community whose lives are touched by cancer.”

The 2011 Relay For Life Committee members are: Amy Kemp, Lisa Yokley, Debbie Gregory, Randy East, Lori Jones, Brownie Barton, Angie Doss, Elizabeth Dotson, Melissa Wooten and James Hix.

“One day. One night. One Community. Relay For Life is about celebration, remembrance, and hope. By participating, you honor cancer survivors, pay tribute to the lives we’ve lost to the disease, and raise money to help fight it all right here in Macon County.”