To find a cure, there has to be money.
The North St. Clair Relay for Life last week at the Springville football field helped in that regard. The goal was to raise $21,000 for the American Cancer Society, but contributors dug deep into their pockets and brought out a total of $30,000. Officials believe it is the most money ever raised by the North St. Clair Relay for Life.
“Relay for Life is a special event that allows families and friends to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors and those who have lost their battle with this terrible illness,” said Relay for Life chairwoman DeAna Byrd. “Each person here has a special person to celebrate. It is a fun way to raise money for cancer research and awareness. This year we doubled the number of teams compared to last year. In addition, the teams surpassed our event goal for money raised. This year’s event has been a huge success. The committee would like to thank all the community members who donated their time, money and effort to make this event the success it was.”
The relay lasted 12 hours, from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday. Following the opening ceremonies, cancer survivors took a lap around the track, and then cancer caregivers took a lap. Then, the 19 teams that participated in the event were allowed to walk. Some teams walked throughout the night.
At 9 p.m. a special luminaria ceremony honored the memories of those who had lost their lives to cancer.
Public relations coordinator Beth Schulz said the Relay for Life brings the area together for an important cause.
“It was a fun-filled night with some great entertainment,” said Schulz. Our entertainment committee did a great job this year. It was exciting to see a large turnout for the event. It was amazing to see my mom walk the Survivors’ Lap. I know how lucky we are.”
Two-time cancer survivor Patsy Rhodes lives in Forestdale and was at the Relay for Life because her daughter, Paula Carreker, lives in Springville.
“Functions like this are so important, and this is the first one I’ve ever attended,” Rhodes said. “I am very impressed, and the entire event brought me to tears.”
Not only is Carreker’s mother a cancer survivor, so are her aunt and her cousin. She lost a sister to cancer.
“This is so wonderful to have,” Carreker said. “I hope I never have to face this myself. But I am glad to be here to honor my mother and my family. I am impressed with how this is being run, and I’m proud to be here.”
Angie Joyner of Odenville said Relay for Life is important because it gives back to the community. “It gives to people who are in a bad situation and it gives them hope again,” Joyner said.
Rosanne Coleman of Odenville, a cancer survivor, said this event was important to her. “Without organizations like this, we would not have any money for cancer research,” Coleman said. “Research is so important to us who are cancer survivors and for those who will be diagnosed with cancer in the future. It is a great thing.”
Byrd said all survivors who registered at the Survivor Dinner and have not received their shirts could contact her at 205-410-9687.