relay chairsHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (6/3/13) – Relay for Life began back in Tacoma, Washington and was known as “City of Destiny Classic 24-hour Run Against Cancer.”
 
By the mid-1980s, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon named Doctor Gordy Klatt, wanted to raise more money for his local ACS office. He decided to personally raise money for ACS by doing something he really enjoyed, running marathons. In May of 1985, he spent 24 hours circling the track at the Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, his friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes for him. With doing so he was able to raise $27,000 to fight against cancer. While he was circling the track, he thought of different ways he would be able to get the rest of the community involved or at least interested in helping out. He decided to put a committee together to plan the first relay event. In 1986, 19 teams gathered in the first Relay for Life Event on the track at the Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000.

This year’s Relay for Life was held at Hopkins County Central High School. They reached their goal and plus some. They were able to raise over $25,000.

The doors for the public opened at 5:00pm but the actual ceremonies didn’t start until 7:00 PM. Opening remarks this year were made by Lori Rodgers and Candace Ashby who are the Co-Chairs for Relay. A Prayer was given by Pastor Ronnie Sivells. The Presentation of Colors was performed by VFW Post 5480. Pledge was given by The Boy Scouts of America Troop 200. The National Anthem was sung by Dustin Scarbrough. The poem “The Big ‘C’” was read by Rachel Creekmur. Carolyn Foster gave recognition to the Relay’s Gold Sponsors which included; Power Rock 93.9, WFMW 730, Baptist Health, Grease Monkey, Tyson Foods Inc., WTTL 106.9, SurfKY News, Howdy 97.7, Madisonville’s ESPN 1310 and The Messenger. The Gold sponsors received a t-shirt.
 
Linda Taylor gave recognition to the survivors and the caregivers. This year’s speakers were a daughter and mother Addison and Angie Johnson who shared their story about cancer and how it was life to take care of someone who has cancer. Survivors were ushered in by the Hopkins County Central High School Football players and presented with a Medallion for being another year cancer free. Shortly after the survivors were ushered in, started the Survivor and Caregiver lap followed by Team Recognition. Laura Petway talked about “Why we Relay” which was followed by the Team Lap. The Luminaria Ceremony started at 9:00pm which included the lighting of the bags, lighting of the Japanese Lanterns and the closing poem, “Every Candle has a Name” was read by Brother Dennis Mosby.

Since Relay for life has started, teams around the nation have joined to relay for the fight against cancer.
 
Amber Mena
SurfKY News
Photos Provided by Amber Mena

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