Lace up those sneakers to make a difference

GRAFTON—After the cancellation of last year’s event, due to COVID-19, Taylor County Relay For Life is back and ready to attack cancer with the hopes of making this one of the most successful events yet.

According to American Cancer Society Senior Development Manager Carmen Hathaway, Relay For Life is a community fundraising event benefiting the American Cancer Society, who has been battling cancer for over 107 years.  

“The donations raised in communities nationwide are used to provide grants for research 

The collected donations are also used for patient programs and services including Road to Recovery and Reach to Recovery.  

In addition, the monies collected assist in the upkeep of the National Cancer Information Center, which is open 24/7/365 along with a website that contains information about cancer, treatments, screenings, prevention, how to care for someone who has cancer and so much more.  

“Anyone who has ever had a mammogram, PSA Test, Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Radiation, gleevac, tamoxifen, received a ride to treatment through Road to Recovery and more, has benefited from your American Cancer Society,” Hathaway disclosed. 

 How the relay works is pretty simple yet can have a huge impact on the lives of those battling this relentless illness. Friends, families, civic groups, churches, co-workers, etc., form teams for the event then host fundraisers, asking individuals for donations. 

Luminarias are also sold, as a way to remember and honor loved ones who have battled cancer.

The purchased Luminarias are then put to good use during the relay during a beautiful ceremony to honor those names on the Luminaria Bags, which are used to light the path for walkers as the sun sets. 

The Taylor County Relay For Life is slated for Friday, August 6 in downtown Grafton.

 The relay, which provides an opportunity for the community to come together and make a difference, will have community members lacing up their sneakers and putting in the steps for a good cause. 

Participants will take off with their teams beginning at 5:30 p.m., in order to raise awareness and funds for those who fighting a battle with cancer, those who have lost their battle and those yet to face the battle. 

An opening ceremony will be held at approximately 5:30 p.m., with a special Cancer Survivor Lap to immediately follow. 

Throughout the event, teams will take part in some friendly competition with games and will also get to enjoy live entertainment and have a chance to purchase some tasty treats and snacks along the way, with all proceeds going to the fight against cancer. 

The traditional Luminaria Ceremony will be held at 9:00 p.m., with a closing ceremony to take place at 9:30 p.m.

And there is still plenty of time to recruit your friends, create a team and make a difference. 

You can register your team now by visiting 

Luminarias may also be purchased from the aforementioned website. Alternately, the form for Luminarias can be found below, on page A8, of this edition of the Mountain Statesman.

With teams that have registered thus far and donations that have been made, the Taylor County Relay For Life has collected nearly $16,000 of their $30,000 goal, and officials are challenging Taylor County to help them surpass that objective.

At Relay For Life, no donation is too small. Each dollar counts and makes a difference in the life of a fighter. 

Donations help fund groundbreaking cancer research, patient care programs and can make a difference in the community. 

With every contribution, you are helping the American Cancer Society to save lives.

To learn more about Relay For Life, please visit


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