A relay with a purpose… Relay for Life slated in the downtown area on September 11th

Published 10:03 pm Thursday, August 19, 2021

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Living in today’s world, there is hardly a person that hasn’t been touched personally in some way by the dreaded disease of cancer. And to make matters worse, the COVID pandemic has slowed the ability of those who work so diligently to raise money for research to one day hopefully defeat the disease once and for all.

Local residents have an opportunity to stand up and help make a difference as the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society has been scheduled to take place on September 11th, 2021.

The theme for this year is ‘A Bridge for a Cure’.

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Kicking the activities off will be a car parade through downtown Elizabethton to the Covered Bridge where most of the activities will be taking place.

Charity Odom is the volunteer lead for the car parade. Odum fully understands how cancer can impact a person’s life as she herself is a cancer survivor.

“We will be kicking it off with a car parade so we would like survivors, caregivers, team members, or just anyone that wants to honor someone or anyone who wants to decorate their car to join us,” Odom said.

“We are asking them to line up at 4:30 pm at the State Farm parking lot where the parades always line up and the actual parade will begin at 5 pm. This will be what kicks off the start of the event and we are going through downtown through the Downtown Car Show and I have spoken to them and they are board about letting us come through there.

“We are going to go through town and park somewhere on the other end of town and the event will be at the Covered Bridge and this is the plan for now.”

Last year. the Relay for Life had to been done in a drive-in fashion due to the COVID pandemic. Odom said that as of right now, the event is still on for an in-person event for those who can attend.

If some still feel uncomfortable with the increase in COVID, Odom recommended participating in the car parade and of course feel free to attend the other events if they so choose.

The Relay for Life runs from 5 pm to 10 pm and will include live music, ceremonies for the survivors and caregivers as both will be doing the laps, and a luminaries ceremony where bags with candles are lit later in the evening in remembrance of those who have courageously battled cancer and their loved ones who have as well.

Vendors and food trucks will be set up at the covered bridge as well and Relay for Life teams will be setting up tables doing different things like providing drinks and passing out information on Relay for Life.

“The overall goal is to raise funding for the American Cancer Society and the funding that we raise goes to research and also to the different programs that local patients might benefit from,” Odom shared. “Sherry Rowe is our local contact person for the Relay and then we have a contact through the American Cancer Society.

“For the car parade, we would like for them to go all out when they decorate their car as much as they can. We are going to try to have a prize for the best-decorated car.”

Illuminaries are $5 and can be purchased for a survivor or a loved one. Odom said for those interested in an Illuminary to email her at codom515@gmail.com.

Vendor and food truck spots are also available for $30 and 15 percent of the sales. For more information on these opportunities, please email rowe.sherie@gmail.com.

Overall, in 2018, 78 percent of the American Cancer Society’s resources were invested in cancer research, patient support, prevention information and education, and detection and prevention.

The other 22 percent of resources were used to fund our management and general expenses and fundraising expenses.