Celebrate life: Relay For Life prepares for survivor dinner, June event

Published 12:23 am Tuesday, May 22, 2018

With the 2018 Carter County Relay For Life event just a month out, excitement continues to build as the community looks to band together for those that have been affected by cancer.

Local Relay For Life chapter members are hoping to highlight all individuals that have been impacted leading up to June’s event. Kathy Thomason, Relay For Life member, recently told the Elizabethton Star that registration is still underway for this year’s survivor dinner.

“We want to celebrate our survivors,” Thomason said. “Every day, there are new diagnoses and even in my circle of relatives and friends, we know of three or four new diagnoses. We want to celebrate the fact that even with the diagnosis, you can still be a survivor.”

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Thomason announced that this year’s event will be held Tuesday, June 12, at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) – Elizabethton campus. For those that haven’t registered yet, according to Thomason, individuals have until the end of May, so that event organizers can have a firm number of attendees.

Survivors can either register online or can contact her at (423) 292-3611.

“We would love to have a multitude of survivors there,” Thomason, a cancer survivor, said. “We know we have more survivors. There are so many people that are surviving because of the strides being made by the American Cancer Society.

“We are not going to dwell on what we’ve been through. We’re going to celebrate the fact that we’re still here,” she added.

Various fundraisers and events will be held leading up to the Carter County Relay For Life event, which is scheduled for Friday, June 22, from 6 p.m. until midnight at TCAT.

Thomason stated this year’s theme is a beach party and that different activities will be available for the public. TCAT served as the host site last year and provides an opportunity for the event to take place either rain or shine with indoor space available for event goers.

One of the powerful parts of the event is the survivor walk. As action winds down and darkness hits the area, lights illuminate the area for Relay night thanks to luminaria bags.

Bags are used as a way to remember those that are affected by cancer. Thomason added that bags are still available for $5. White bags are available for those to commemorate the life of someone that has been lost to cancer. Purple bags are available for cancer survivors and gold bags are the newest addition and are used as a way to remember caregivers. Thomason added that caregiver shirts are also available for $15. All proceeds raised by Relay For Life go to benefit the American Cancer Society’s goal of furthering research to combat the disease. To learn more about Relay For Life or additional details about June’s event and other fundraisers, contact Thomason or visit the Relay For Life of Carter County, TN Facebook page. The page features a link to the county’s official Relay For Life website.