Douglas County last week was home to 64 teams that will be part of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event, scheduled for May 9 and 10 at Clinton Nature Preserve in Villa Rica.
Walking in staggered time period segments throughout the night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., Douglas County teams hope to add significantly to the $32,757 they already raised this year for the American Cancer Society.
The main theme of the Douglas County contingent’s walk, “make cancer walk the plank,” will be illustrated by many of the team members wearing or carrying something pirate-related, whether they are actually walking the course or selling items from tents erected at the starting line of the relay.
One of the teams exchanging their business day attire for jogging suits and tennis shoes is the 14-member Douglas County government team, comprised of government employees representing many departments.
Although unified in purpose, those taking part in the relay will be doing so for very personal reasons, to honor a friend or relative battling cancer or one who has died from the disease.
For example, Douglas County commercial appraiser and government team captain Rita Gaston has dedicated her participation to her grandmother, who died in 1982.
Walking alongside her will be Brenda Fortner of Douglas County Probate Court, who is walking in memory of her sister, who died last year.
In addition, Douglas County Parks and Recreation employee Tammy Cochran will be thinking of her father, who died in 2010.
Gaston’s team has raised $2,600 this year, with a goal of $8,000, she said.
The event raises money through the sale of Tiki torches to participants, which they may carry or display in honor or memory of someone.