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Celebrating hope and a future with survivors

Tina Powell, McKenzie city clerk, and Annette Merritt share more than a sisterly bond. They are also both fighting breast cancer.

The sisters proudly sported caps featuring the pink ribbon logo, as they joined more than 100 cancer survivors and caregivers at the annual Cancer Survivors Luncheon at the Family Life Center of First Baptist Church in Greenville on Friday.

The event is a prelude to next week’s Butler County Relay For Life, the county’s signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Guests at the event were feted with special Survivor T-shirts and goody bags, along with a meal courtesy of Preister’s Pecans, served by ACS board members and volunteers. Preister’s and Senior Circle were the joint sponsors for the luncheon.

Local talents, including Brad Jones, Tim Hoyle, members of the Antioch West Baptist Church Choir and Sue Ann Lewis, provided inspirational messages through song: “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” “He Touched Me,” “Hope and a Future,” “One Day at a Time” and others.

Hands shot in the air as Kathy Atchison called out names of those who had won door prizes donated by local businesses and individuals.

“We hope you will come out for Relay next Friday night at the YMCA. Our Survivors Walk is at 7 p.m. so we’d like all survivors to be there by 6:30 p.m. for the lineup,” said Luncheon chair June Earnest, who is also a cancer survivor.

“We raise funds through Relay in hopes of finding a cure and giving more people more birthdays. Join us, because we have a really good time.”

The Relay Board will provide grilled chicken for Survivors attending Relay and ask they bring a covered dish and folding chairs to the event.

Butler County’s Relay For Life is set to kick off at 6 p.m. May 7 at the Greenville YMCA.