Relay is reason to celebrate

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When the clock strikes 7on Friday night, therewill be a party going onin Beaufort that will last all night andwon’t stop until 7 in the morning. Therewill be food, music, dancing, prizes,men dressed as women — need I saymore?And, no, this will not be happening onmy porch (that’s not until Halloween).This celebration will be set up aroundthe track at Beaufort Middle Schooland it is not to be missed. Hundredsof volunteers have been meeting andplanning for months about how tomake this event fun for everyone.Relay For Life is a fundraiser forThe American Cancer Society thattakes place in communities across thecountry. This unique overnight event“represents the hope that those lost tocancer will never be forgotten, that thosewho face cancer will be supported, andthat one day, cancer will be eliminated,”according to www.relayforlife.org.The Beaufort Relay For Life has59 teams and has raised more than$45,000 so far. On Friday, all of thoseteams will be there set up with tentsand booths around the track, sellingeverything from food to face painting.There is a carnival-like atmosphereand a great place to bring the wholefamily. This year’s theme is “Everydayis a Holiday, Celebrate Life” so teamshave chosen a certain holiday todecorate their booths. And if you spotmen dressed as women asking you for money, don’t panic, they are competingfor the title of Miss. Relay. The personwho raises the most money wins.While the focus is mainly on fun,there are also serious moments duringRelay For Life. Cancer survivors arerecognized during a Survivors Lap andthey will tell inspiring stories aboutovercoming the disease. Also, hundredsof white paper bags, called luminaries,will be filled with sand and a candle andplaced around the track. As night falls,all the candles will be lit, and everyoneis encouraged to walk the track andread the luminaries that have beenadorned with the names of survivors orin memory of loved ones who lost theirlives to cancer.This event is intensely personal to mebecause my mother died from breastcancer in October. She was such awarm, courageous, amazing person, andshe loved to have a good time. I knowshe will be looking down and will beproud of all our hard work, dedicationand ability to pull off an awesome party.I hope you can find the time Friday tocome to Relay For Life to support yourfamily and friends and see members ofthe community working together andhaving fun for a worthy cause.