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Relay for Life begins Friday

Hundreds are expected to pound the pavement — or at least the ground — Friday night at the Relay for Life of Butler County.

Relay for Life is held annually to celebrate the lives of those lost to cancer, support those fighting the disease and raise money to help in their battle.

The goal for this year’s event is $70,000. Last year’s event raised $68,000.

As of Monday, 25 teams had raised a total of $17,589.33, according to the Relay for Life of Butler County website.

All the proceeds go to benefit the American Cancer Society. It will be used for research and to help Butler County cancer patients pay for their transportation and lodging when they go for treatments. The money also helps provide an around-the-clock phone nurse for patients as they go through treatments.  The American Cancer Society has also helped patients with prosthetics as needed and provides several services such as “Look Good Feel Better” a program that gives cancer patients tips on wigs, head coverings, as well as make-up tips and changes in skin during cancer treatments.

“One other service, that I am very proud of, is the Road to Recovery program,” said Marie Owens, chairperson for Relay for Life of Butler County.  “This is provided only to Butler County residents and is funded through funds raised and donated to Butler County Relay for Life.  This program is provided through our Road to Recovery sponsors, Greenville Chevron and Shell Depot, and monitored through Butler County Health Department. With this program patients are given gas vouchers to be used for transportation to and from their treatments.”

A survivors walk will be at 7 p.m. while the candlelight ceremony to honor those who have been affected by cancer will begin at 9 p.m. The survivors walk is for anyone who is a cancer survivor and those still fighting the disease.

This year’s event will be held at the Butler County Fairgrounds. In recent years the event has been held at the Greenville YMCA.

“This was one of our first locations, however, as our event grew we seemed to have a bit of a problem with parking,” Owens said. “Richard Branum and the Greenville Kiwanis Club have done an amazing job with this vicinity adding additional parking and lighting.  We are honored to be able to hold this event at their location. By changing the location we also have a better opportunity of continuing our event during inclement weather, should that arise.  Our activities chairperson has worked very hard preparing for this event so if we do have inclement weather we could continue with our activities and even luminaria ceremony. Although, we were up to our knees in water last year, the weather is predicted to be perfect Friday night and I hope that everyone makes plans to join us for the activities that has been planned.”

Relay for Life will kick off at 6 p.m.

“I encourage everyone to come out Friday night,” Owens said. “The weather is going to be great, the entertainment will be out of this world and there will be food like you’ve never eaten before. Many teams will be selling food with proceeds going to Relay for Life so be prepared to purchase lots of good food for a good cause.”