Celebrating the Survivors
“I think a lot of our Relay is honoring ones we’ve lost and celebrating the survivors,” said Serethia Crawford, team development chair.
The overnight event will begin at 6 p.m. May 30 on the Oaklawn Park infield. The theme, with apologies to Jimmy Buffet, is “Marga-RELAY-ville: Where we’ll WIPE OUT all kinds of cancer!”
The funds raised through Relay for Life are used to provide programs to cancer patients and help fund livesaving research.
“I think absolutely every person has some sort of cancer in their life, whether it be a family member or a co-worker. So it affects everyone, in one way or another,” Crawford said.
Relay for Life is a celebration because it is like the “party at the end. We’ve been raising money for 11 months,” she said.
Donna Kaye Smith of the American Cancer Society says Relay is “more like a movement that the American Cancer Society has been able to grow. Between the medical community, the general community. Everybody pitches in on it because they know it has a direct impact on how we treat cancer.”
Planning and fundraising for next year’s Relay begins the day after the event ends each year. Since 1999, more than $3 million has been raised by Garland County alone.
Garland County has traditionally been the largest Relay in the state of Arkansas.
“We have more teams, more participants and larger donations than any other county” in Arkansas, Smith says.
“Our community is the most generous and dedicated group of cancer fighting people around,” she said.