Editorial: Let’s come together to make this year’s Relay For Life the best ever

May. 29, 2013 @ 11:49 PM

It seems as if rains affect Relay For Life every year in Sevier County. Maybe this year the showers will stay away. The forecast is looking good, and that means the turnout, the enthusiasm and the fundraising should be strong for this annual event to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Sevier County has one of the best Relay For Life events anywhere, and the statistics and awards back that up. Dozens of teams have been holding fundraisers all year to raise money for the event. Many will have tents set up Friday at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge, where they’ll have someone on duty for the roughly 24-hour event. Many of the teams will be selling items at their tents.

There will be live music, auctions, a womanless beauty pageant, children’s activities and, of course, the constant walking of the track as teams provide members to do what the name says: Relay, walking in shifts to draw attention to the plague that is cancer.

The number of volunteer hours associated with Relay is difficult to compute. It is well into the thousands. Hundreds of people form teams through businesses, clubs and churches to raise money. They hold bake sales, rummage sales and more to do that. The culmination takes place Friday night and into Saturday afternoon at Patriot Park with the Relay For Life event itself. There will be the survivors walk to kick things off around 6 p.m., and the Luminaria featuring lit candles in memory of those who fought the fight.

Don’t have a team? Come on over to the park anyway. Walk the grounds. Listen to the music. Visit the tents and buy some food or other items. You can support a worthy cause without actually volunteering to be part of it.

Relay For Life is a true community enterprise. It’s fun while doing good work to help local people battling cancer. Much of the money raised stays right here. And it was raised by the cooperative and diligent efforts of your friends and neighbors.

Support Relay. And if you are part of a team, thanks for doing that. Let’s make this year’s Relay For Life the best ever.