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East Lincoln Relay for Life begins Friday

JENNA-LEY HARRISON

Staff Writer

For the second weekend this month, Lincoln County will celebrate Relay for Life.

Starting 6 p.m. today, the county’s eastern end will cheer on cancer survivors and collect donations for American Cancer Society research, praying one day a cure might be found.

“Cancer survivors bear the ultimate burden of the fight against this relentless opponent,” Relay Co-Chair Anne Willis wrote in this year’s event pamphlet. “The positive energy we receive from caregivers, family, friends, associates and even communities like ours in East Lincoln, is what keeps us going.”

The event will take place at the track at East Lincoln High School.

Willis, who battled thyroid cancer and won nearly a decade ago, said close to 30 teams have signed up to participate in this year’s celebration.

Perhaps most exciting for Relay committee members, however, is the large volume of donations that have poured in to support the 15th anniversary of the Denver event, considered one of the top Relay for Life affairs in the Southeast, officials said.

Patsy Black and Dr. Heather Melling started the local Relay in 1999, during a time when eastern Lincoln County had yet to blossom into the booming residential and business hub it now is, event officials said.

“So far, we are up on fundraising and on track to meet or exceed our $135,000 goal,” Willis said.

A survivor lap will kickoff the event at 6:15 p.m., following opening ceremonies.

At 10 p.m., the crowd will honor and remember lost loved ones with a solemn luminary ceremony.

There will also a variety of children’s activities from bounce houses to putt-putt and live musical entertainment for all ages.

However, the crowd goes all out each year for the parade laps, which take place from 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m., turning a potentially sad and tiring night into a lively, costume-themed affair.

This year, there will be a lap each for pajamas, togas, patriotic wear, outfits from across the decades and crazy hats.

Participants will also have multiple opportunities to win prizes including a Kindle Fire and smaller items located in the Basket Tent.

Teams donated the prize-filled baskets, and the cost to enter a drawing for one will be $1.

For more information, visit relayforlife.org and enter keyword “East Lincoln.” Individuals may also email ELRelayforlife@gmail.com or call (704) 609-9953.

The group is additionally on Facebook under “Relay for Life of East Lincoln.”

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