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Survivors celebrate at luncheon

Nearly 200 cancer survivors and their caregivers from across the county gathered at the Family Life Center of the First Baptist Church in Greenville to begin the celebration on Friday morning.

The annual Survivors Luncheon is an early kickoff for the Butler County Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event.

Survivors were feted with a luncheon courtesy of Preister’s Pecans, the event sponsor, along with chances to win a number of door prizes donated for the occasion.

Following the meal, singer-songwriter Harlan Burton, a cancer survivor who has performed at several events in the city, shared hope and inspiration with those in attendance.

Relay committee member and cancer survivor June Earnest encouraged all those present to pick up their special purple survivors’ T-shirts and parking passes for next Friday night.

“Please come and join us. We’ll have plenty of room at our survivors’ tent. We will provide the chicken. Bring a covered dish if you can, and a folding chair,” Earnest said.

The Survivors’ Walk is set for 6:45 p.m. next Friday night, and all area cancer survivors are encouraged to plan to participate.

Opening ceremonies for the 2009 RFL begin at 6:15 p.m. Friday, May 8 at the YMCA football field.