This year’s theme for the annual Madison County Relay for Life is “Tune in for a Cure” with team themes centering on TV shows – from the classics to today.
American Cancer Society community manager Katie Cullinan made the announcement at the Jan. 25 kick-off ceremony for the 12th annual event, which was held at Union Baptist Church’s family life center.
Relay chairman Clay Nix said there are some major changes coming to the Relay this year. The Relay, which is normally held on the first Friday and Saturday of May, will be held this year on the second weekend of the month — Friday and Saturday, May 14 and 15. The location has also changed. Instead of being held at the Madison County recreation department track field, the event will be held at the Madison County High School’s athletic field.
This year’s fund-raising goal is $125,000, Nix said. The closest the Relay came to this was in 2001, when local teams raised more than $119,000.
Officials also plan to focus on making the Relay a true “all-night” event, with walkers on the track at all times. To help facilitate this, a number of bands are set to play throughout the night, with feature band Holman-Autry set to take the stage at 1:30 a.m. The last band will play beginning at 4 a.m.
Relay volunteer Ellie Bradshaw also announced the first annual “Kid’s Walk”
Kick-off attendees were treated to a Relay version of “The Price is Right,” hosted by Kevin (Drew Ca-Relay) Cheek and Dawg Town DJ.
This year’s honorary chairman, 5-year old Hayden Coile, and his family were introduced to the audience. Mom Sonja Coile told how Hayden was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) in September 2008.
“We were devastated,” Coile said, of the diagnosis.
The family spent the next two weeks at Egleston Children’s Hospital while Hayden underwent treatment. After 14 days, he was in remission and has remained so ever since. Maintenance treatments will continue for two more years, until Hayden reaches age seven.
She credited the work and research of the American Cancer Society with helping her and her family “celebrate more birthdays” with Hayden.
2009 TEAM WINNERS
The top five fund-raising teams from last year’s Relay were also announced. They were: Union Baptist ($11,365); Williams Transco ($7,745); Breast Friends Champions ($6,315); Rogers Ramblers Family and Friends ($4,247) and the New Haven Beacons ($3,663)
For more information on this year’s Relay, or to register a team, go to www.RelayForLife.org/MadisonGA or call Cullinan at 706-549-4893.