This is how Debbie Freeman of the American Cancer Society summarized the commitment of more than 850 Paulding County residents who are expected to take part in Paulding County’s all-night Relay for Life event, scheduled for May 16 and 17 at the new Veterans Park in Dallas.
The event, held to raise funds for cancer research and assist those battling the disease and their caregivers, gets under way at 6 p.m. May 16 and does not conclude until 7 the next morning.
This year marks the first time this large-scale event with its expected 71 teams taking part, has been held at this new Paulding County recreation facility.
To date this year, Paulding teams have raised $73,486 and are hoping to add to that total as a result of their participation.
Jodi Elzey, a co-chair who has been taking part since the event began in 1993, said the highlight — as it has been each year — is the parade of cancer survivors who will walk the first lap at 6 p.m.
“These survivors set the tone for the rest of us for this event and, in so doing, we will be walking in the footsteps of our heroes and heroines,” Elzey said.
Following the survivors walk, relay participants, walking in shifts, will begin their all-night trek.
“The turnout has always been good, even during some bad weather which affected last year’s race, at White Oak Park,” Elzey said.
Elzey said cancer has either directly touched those participants or they know a family member or friend who are fighting the disease.
“This is special for us because many of those taking part are walking in honor of someone now being treated for cancer or in memory of someone who battled the disease,” she said.
Elzey, who took part originally as a walker, became one who knew someone with the disease as it touched her family in 2008.
“My grandson was 8 months old when doctors found his brain tumor, but he is a survivor,” she said.
If you go:
What: Relay for Life of Paulding County
When: May 16 and 17
Where: Veterans Park at Watson Government Center in Dallas
Information: (770) 429-1624 or visit www.relayforlife.org/pauldingga or the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pauldingcountyrelay