Since its inception in 1985, Relay For Life has raised over $410,000,000 to help fight cancer via medical research, caregiver support, and other routes. The annual event in Bibb County had to be moved indoors at the BCHS gymnasium due to inclement weather, but the enthusiasm of participants and supporters wouldn’t be dampened.
From turning the courthouse clock faces purple – the color that represents all types of cancers – on Thursday night, to the closing ceremony Saturday night, the community came together to support the cause, remember those they’ve lost, and lift up those fighting for their lives. All totaled, eight teams with 44 registered participants raised over $20,914, according to Ryan Thompson, the Event Lead for Relay For Life of Bibb County,
Ms. Thompson also said over 300 Luminarias were placed during the event. According to the Relay For Life website, “We light Luminaria to remember those we’ve lost, celebrate cancer survivors, and show everyone affected by cancer that we are the light in the darkness.”
To be sure, besides raising money and remembering those lost to cancer, the event brought an eclectic mix of fun for all ages. From a frozen t-shirt competition and group dancing, to walking laps and an all-male beauty pageant, everyone had a good time.
The pageant was one of the bigger spectacles of the event, and drew a large crowd of fans and donors as the guys flaunted their goods and flirted with Big Al.
The University of Alabama mascot showed up to help, and besides tipping the “ladies” during the pageant, posed for pictures, danced with kids, and even tried the limbo bar. (More photos and highlight video below)
Perhaps next year will be even bigger and raise even more money. Relay For Life has certainly grown by leaps since its first year.
From the Relay For Life website:
One person can make a difference. In May 1985, Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, raising money to help the American Cancer Society with the nation’s biggest health concern: cancer.
Gordy spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at the University of Puget Sound. Friends, family, and patients watched and supported him as he walked and ran more than 83.6 miles and raised $27,000 through pledges to help save lives from cancer. As he circled the track, he thought of how he could get others to take part. He envisioned having teams participate in a 24-hour fundraising event. The next year, 19 teams were part of the first Relay For Life event at the historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000.
After previously battling stomach cancer, Gordy passed away from heart failure on August 3, 2014 at the age of 71. But his legacy lives on. He shaped an idea that started as one man walking and running a track and helped turn it into a global fundraising phenomenon.
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