Clarksville, TN – Montgomery County Relay for Life held the kickoff for the 2013 Relay for Life yesterday at the Hilldale Baptist Family Life Center Soccer Field. Hundreds of Cancer Survivors along with community members gathered to raise funds to help the American Cancer Society seek a cure for cancer.
Relay for life is the world’s largest grassroots fundraising movement, and truly shows that one person, one idea can make a huge difference.
Montgomery County Relay for Life’s 2013 Relay for Life
In the mid-1980s, Dr. Gordy Klatt decided to raise funds for his local American Cancer Society office by doing something he loved, running marathons. He challenged himself to spend 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium located at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington in the process covering a distance of more than 83 miles. As he circled the track friends paid $25.00 to run or walk for 30 minutes with him. More than 300 people watched and participated. He ended up raising more than $27,000 to aid in the fight against cancer.
As he circled the track he thought about how to get communities involved in the fight. What he envisioned was a 24-hour team relay event to raise money to fight cancer. This became the City of Destiny’s Classic 24-Hour Run against Cancer, and later expanded to become the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Recognizing the Cancer survivors
Now, over 5200 Relay events take place each year across the United States. Funds raised go to support research and ACS programs such as the Hope Lodge, Camp Horizon, Road to Recovery, Look Good Feel Better and more.
Relay For Life, mobilizes communities throughout the country to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and provide participants with an opportunity to fight back against all forms of the disease. Relay brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups… People from all walks of life – all aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society’s vision of creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
The Montgomery County Relay for Life event is chaired by Jason Pennington and Cydney Miller.
It was sponsored by Gateway Medical Center and the Gateway-Vanderbilt Cancer Treatment Center. Other sponsors included Fort Campbell Federal Credit Union; Planters Bank; Bridgestone Metalpha USA Inc; Cumberland Bank and Trust; F&M Bank; R.L. Alvarez Construction LLC; Wall Brothers Glass; Legends Bank; Stone Rudolph & Henry, PLC; and Daphene’s Portrait Design.
Some of the members of the Montgomery County Relay for Life Committee
Miller said, “Thank you to the hard work of the entire Relay for Life committee who worked so hard all year.” She continued, “I also would like to say thank you to Hilldale Family Life Center for their partnership and use of their facility for the event.”
This year 55 Teams participated and the preliminary fundraising totals look to be more than $140,000.
The opening ceremony featured Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers, City of Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan, State Senator Mark Green, and Gateway Hospital CEO Tim Putoff.
Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers, City of Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan, State Senator Mark Green
Mike Riley dances with his wife in the rain
The Keynote speaker was Cancer Survivor Mike Riley who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and told he only had a few weeks to live. His talk was on surviving and beating cancer.
Once the opening ceremony was completed the West Creek High School Step Team gave a short step show.
They were followed by the Survivor recognition and the subsequent walk. More than one attendee was seen dabbing their eyes with handkerchiefs.
Other activities included: Dude Looks Like a Lady pageant, Toilet Paper Bride, Box Car Creation Contest, and musical chairs.
The award for the Best Box Car went to the Bikers Who Care; Best Campsite to Team Brake; and Best Banner to the Fifth Ward Steppers. The Dude Looks Like a Lady contest Winner was Team Scott (CEMC) and first runner up Team Carroll. The Toilet Paper Bride Winner was the BWC Ladies Auxiliary Awards. Best food award went to the Montgomery County Fire Dept, Best the best Breakfast to Convergys.
Due to the rain, the musical entertainment was not allowed to perform due to safety concerns with the wet stage.