On Friday evening at Tommy Thompson Field on the campus of Carroll County High School, the week of Relay for Life activities hit their apex, as survivors, caregivers and friends gathered to celebrate, remember and fight back.
Earlier in the week, survivors were treated to a banquet and a chance at prizes at VFW Post 1115, brought to them by a host of local businesses and featuring local dancers Marley Cornett and Hannah Pruitt, several area musicians, and laminated placemats decorated by area students.
In all, the Galax-Carroll Relay for Life raised $69,700. Co-chair Judy Beasley said the majority of that money will stay local to combat cancer, while a portion will be used for research.
“We have worked hard to raise funds to wipe out cancer,” Beasley said. “Most of our money goes to cancer research or cancer programs in our area. It supports programs for cancer patients in the Galax and Carroll County area; we’re working for our own.”
On Friday evening at the Relay for Life celebration, 34 teams were in attendance, doing their part to combat cancer by helping to raise money. In addition, the close to 500 in attendance heard the inspiring words of Abingdon’s Melissa Farmer, a cancer survivor who has battled tongue and larynx cancer. Although Farmer can’t speak, her words, spoken from friend Frances Standidge, resonated with the crowd.
Around dusk on Friday evening, luminaries — white paper bags with candles inside — were lit, lighting the area around the field.
The luminaries were purchased in honor of a cancer survivor or in memory of a cancer patient.