With the theme “Finish the Fight,” participants took action and made noise in the fight against cancer during the Anderson County Relay for Life Saturday at Westwood High School's Panther Stadium.
The Relay for Life event honors cancer survivors, remembers family and loved ones affected by the disease and raises money to help end cancer via the American Cancer Society. So far this year, Anderson County Relay for Life has raised close to $65,000.
For the first time in local Relay for Life history, the event was held from noon to midnight on Saturday — versus the past when the event was held from 7 p.m. on a Friday to 7 a.m. on a Saturday. More than 28 teams participated.
“We got a lot of positive feedback on the time change,” Anderson County Relay for Life Chair Kim Thompson said. “The survivors were able to participate more throughout the entire event. Even with a lot of other things going on, we still had a lot of the community come out to support Relay.”
More than 120 cancer survivors officially participated in the event, attending the survivor dinner held at the WHS drama room, receiving a medal during a special survivor ceremony and taking a walk around the track for the special survivor lap.
“Our survivor committee did a great job with the survivor dinner,” Thompson said.
A variety of events were held throughout the day, with the event kicking off with Story Intermediate School students singing the National Anthem. A “Fight Back” ceremony was held during the middle of the afternoon.
“Everyone got out on the field and (physically) spelled out the word 'fight,'” Thompson said.
Other events during Relay for Life include a balloon release, special themed laps around the track (Mardi Gras lap, super hero lap, tiaras and tutus, pajama lap, etc.) and carnival-style games for families at each team's camp site. Teams held a myriad of fund-raisers ranging from selling t-shirts, buttons and handbags as well as food such as homemade cotton candy, beans and cornbread, nachos and coke floats throughout the day.