Relay to light up Lions Fair Park

Published 7:58 pm Thursday, June 1, 2017

By Mary Stewart | The Selma Times-Journal

The Dallas County Relay For Life event will go on rain or shine Friday, and team members could not be more excited.

Approximately 40 teams will walk for a cure for cancer at Lions Fair Park starting at 6 p.m.

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The event will kick off with a survivors’ lap honoring those who won their battle with cancer.

Bridget Mills, the Senior Community Manager, said the teams are excited to see the culmination of months of hard work and fundraising.

“[The teams] are very competitive,” Mills said. “These are teams and team members who have been personally touched by cancer or they have family members, friends and coworkers that they are really working very hard in memory or in honor of.”

The event will be divided into three phases: celebrate, remember and fight back. All cancer survivors are invited to join the survivors’ lap to kick off the event. During the later luminary ceremony, those who died from cancer and those who are still fighting the disease will be remembered.

“That is when we shut off all the lights, and the luminary bags that have been purchased in memory or in honor of cancer patients will illuminate the darkness to show that there is hope in finding a cure for cancer,” Mills said. “We will have each name read off for those that purchased the bags, and we will also be releasing sky lanterns.”

The fight back ceremony will be at the end of the event when people are encouraged to go by the education tent to learn how to be proactive in preventing cancer.

“The event represents one day, one night, one community, one fight,” Mills said. “It shows where the community has come together to fight cancer, to help fundraise and to support the mission and work that the American Cancer Society does. We come together to honor, recognize and memorialize those who have fought cancer.”

Mills said the cause is dear to her own for personal reasons.

“I have lost members of my family to this dreadful disease, and I currently have very close family members who are fighting cancer. So, I’m very passionate about the work that we do,” she said. “I believe in the hope that we bring to those who are currently fighting cancer, and I look forward to seeing the smiles of those cancer survivors.

Mills said that it is important to celebrate those who are among us who have lived past the words ‘you have cancer’ 40 or 30 years and to give hope to those who have just heard the words two months ago.

“Cancer is not a respecter of people. Cancer has touched every sector, every section of our community,” she said. “We all know someone who has or is fighting cancer.”

Relay For Life admission is free, but it is encouraged to bring a donation to the cause.