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Join the Fight to End Cancer, Celebrate Survivors at Watauga Relay for Life June 17

By Adrienne Fouts

If you have a loved one affected by cancer, or if you want the chance to celebrate survivors, come out to Watauga County’s Relay for Life event on Friday, June 17 at Watauga High School.

Relay for Life
Relay for Life

Since Relay for Life’s beginnings in 1985, $5 billion has been raised by communities around the nation for American Cancer Society research and efforts to find a cure for cancer. In Watauga County and throughout the country, teams of businesses, churches, families and others have been raising money for the cause all year through bake sales, school fundraisers and more.

At least 23 teams are registered now for Watauga County on Relay for Life’s website, including the First Baptist Church of Boone, Boone Drug and Watauga Opportunities. Other groups and families around the community have formed and named their own teams, as well. Together, these participants have raised at least $47,900 for the cause.

The June 17 Relay for Life event is the culmination of the teams’ fundraising efforts and honors those who are fighting or have defeated cancer. It will begin at 6 p.m. with an opening ceremony, said Relay Community Manager Carrie Phillips. A survivor lap will follow, in which onlookers cheer for cancer survivors as they take the first lap of the night around the track. Throughout the night, participants from each team and other supporters will continue taking laps.

“Then there’s all kinds of fun and games,” Phillips said. “There will be food and live music until Relay for Life ends at midnight.”

Participants have the opportunity to personalize and dedicate luminarias as a way to honor their loved ones who have been affected by cancer. Around 9 p.m., when it gets dark, the luminaria bags are lit and a silent walk is held in remembrance of those lost or still fighting.

It won’t cost you anything to join the fight and anybody can participate, Phillips said. Those wishing to get involved can sign up for a team on Relay for Life’s website or simply show up at Watauga High School on the night of the event.

“This is a very heartwarming and touching event,” Phillips said. “Not only are we out here to honor our survivors, but we’re also out here to celebrate caregivers and those who may be struggling now.”

To learn more about Relay for Life’s history, join or register a team, dedicate a luminaria or find out more about how to participate with the American Cancer Society, visit Watauga County’s event page at www.relayforlife.org.

List of participating teams:

  • FBC Crusaders
  • Deerfield Dream Team
  • Jerry’s Intimidators
  • Bethel Believers
  • Watauga RFL Committee
  • Boone Drug Crusaders
  • Friends for Life
  • Grace Happens
  • Lights for Louise
  • Mountain Harmony
  • BACC Walking with Spirit
  • Metamorphosis
  • Parkway Patriots
  • Watauga Opportunities
  • Team Glenbridge
  • The C-5’s
  • Perkinsville Baptist Hands and Feet
  • Family Eye Care
  • Junaluska Angels
  • Charlie’s Angels
  • Beech Valley Inspirations
  • Chelsea Buffaloes of Valle Crucis