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Crenshaw County to host Relay for Life event this Friday

It’s time once again for Crenshaw County’s annual Relay for Life, and this year’s theme of “In It To Win It!” is sure to draw a crowd at E.L. Turner Park. The opening ceremony will kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 29 and will close with a ceremony at 11 p.m. Survivors, teams and sponsors will be recognized during the opening ceremony.

“Relay is important, not only to raise money for cures and support services, but also to get the community involved in helping each other,” said Cathy Wilkes, event chairperson.

“I love how the volunteers give of their time to help fight such a worthy cause.”

The goal for this year’s Relay is set for $59,000.

Walkers will have the chance to participate in theme laps, such as Hawaiian, favorite sports team, Mardi Gras, holidays and more.

The luminaria ceremony will begin at 9 p.m. Wilkes noted that if participants are interested in purchasing a luminaria,  bags can still be purchased from teams or from Kathryn Tomlin at the Luverne Public Library in honor or memory of someone who has had cancer. Each luminaria can be purchased with a $5.00 donation.

Wilkes has participated in numerous Relay ceremonies over the years, and each year she is touched to see how many people come together to support one another.

“My favorite parts of Relay are the recognition of the survivors, families and the teams at the beginning,” she said.

“The lumanaria ceremony is always a very touching ceremony because not only do we recognize those survivors, but also those who fought a great battle and who are remembered in memory each year.”

While the exact number is not known, Wilkes believes that Crenshaw has participated in Relay for at least 20 years.

Traditionally, Relay has three parts. According to Wilkes, the beginning of Relay is at sunset, which symbolizes the darkness a person may feel when he/she hears that he/she has cancer.

“Relay is about a fun time of support, which symbolizes the support the cancer patients have,” Wilkes said.

The end of Relay symbolizes the victory of the end of treatments for patients, a joyous event.

The Crenshaw County Relay for Life Team has worked tirelessly over the past year to pull this event together, according to Wilkes, and they are excited to see what will come of it.

“The event planning committee works year-round to plan Relay each year. It is also a great feeling to watch the number of survivors who attend the event,” Wilkes said.

“You laugh with some and cry with others, but it is all about supporting one another.”