A continuation and a beginning launch McDuffie County’s 2020 Relay for Life activities Oct. 17.

The kickoff at 6 p.m., at the Thomson-McDuffie County Government Center begins with the survivor celebration.  The 2019 Relay for Life was suspended after lightning and storms hit the community. The survivor’s lap was held and the luminaries were lit before it was decided to stop the Relay. The event was originally set for May 31, but a fire at the nearby Georgia-Pacific facility caused smoke problems and the event was moved to June 7.

Nearly 200 took part in the Survivor Lap, with nearly 100 others joining in for the second lap on June 7 before the event was halted.

“This 2020 kickoff on Oct. 17, 2019 is a continuation and a starting anew,” said local chairwoman Kay Kendrick. “We had to halt the Relay because of the storm and we want to recreate the luminary for those people,” she said.  “This is a celebration for the people who were unable to celebrate and this will kickoff next year’s Relay on March 27 and people will be able to begin raising money.”

The Luminaria Ceremony represents everyone in the community touched by cancer.  Each light represents a life—a life taken by cancer, a survivor of cancer, or a support for a person still fighting the disease. It gives people the opportunity to grieve but also offers comfort and hope.

Relay For Life is the signature event for fundraising and education of the American Cancer Society.  Cancer’s terrible effects continue in the nation and community and Relay For Life provides a tangible, hands-on means to fight the dreaded disease, raise funds for research and patient care, and educate everyone in the early detection and cure of cancer.  

The Luminaria Ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. and cancer survivors will be recognized and a Survivors Lap will also occur.

Anyone that did not purchase a luminary may purchase onsite or stop by Cut and Style on Main Street and purchase directly from Kendrick.  The two-hour kickoff event will include food and drinks for purchase, fun and games and entertainment. The 2020 Relay for Life theme also will be revealed.  Residents are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to sit in the grassy areas.

“We hope the community comes out to see what we have,” Kendrick said.  “All proceeds go toward the 2020 Relay for Life. We want people to know that money raised stays in the community for patient services,” she said.

Kendrick said launching the 2020 Relay this October gives people time to raise money between now and March 27 to help fight cancer.

The 2019 Relay was McDuffie County’s 19th Relay. Over the years, it has raised in excess of $1.7 million for the fight against cancer.

More information about McDuffie County’s Relay for Life Efforts may be found at www.RelayForLife.org/McDuffieCountyGA.

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