Clay County Relay For Life Fundraiser Held

Thursday, May 9, 2013
This year's honored survivors led the ceremonial first laps Saturday. The 2013 honorees included, from left: Debbie Johnson, Teresa Calhoun and Sheila Taylor.

The Clay County Relay For Life was held Saturday at the Piggott Community Center. This year the annual fundraiser for cancer research featured a new format, and events.

The morning began at 7 a.m. with an all-you-can-eat breakfast in the dining room, and a large crowd was in attendance. Registration for the survivor's walk, and a mini car show, got underway at 9 a.m.

Due to the rainy conditions the car show only drew a handful of entries, but did generate cash toward the effort.

At 10 a.m. this year's honored survivors, Sheila Taylor, Debbie Johnson and Teresa Calhoun led the ceremonial opening laps. Also on hand were other local survivors, family members, supporters and caregivers.

The event also included a silent auction, with bidding going on throughout the day, and a bake sale. The evening also included a luminaria ceremony in the community center gym, memorializing those who have lost their fight with cancer and honoring those who have, or continue to battle the disease.

All proceeds from the day go toward the fight against cancer, with the majority of the funds generated locally remaining in Clay County.

The Relay For Life traces its roots to May 1985, when Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Wash., raising over $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. A year later he was joined by 340 supporters in the overnight event.

In the decades since the Relay For Life movement has continued to grow worldwide, and has raised more than $4 billion to be used in the fight against cancer.

As of Tuesday local donations of around $8,000 had been tabulated, but more were expected to come in over the course of the coming days.

Organizers offered their thanks to the participants, volunteers and those who made donations toward the effort. Donations are also still being accepted, and those interested in helping the cause may call 870 598-3457.

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