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Editorial: Relay for Life highlights community commitment

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On Saturday morning, groups of dedicated volunteers will start walking around a circuit at Central Nine Career Center in Greenwoood.

For the next 24 hours, they’ll walk around and around and around some more, all in the name of fighting cancer.

They will take part in Relay for Life, the largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Teams of walkers join up to raise money and awareness in the fight against cancer. So far, nearly three dozen teams have signed up for the Greenwood event.

Two weeks later, teams will walk in the Brown County event, and then a week after that it will be Franklin’s turn.

The events are more than people walking in a circle. There are special laps honoring cancer survivors and caregivers. A luminaria ceremony remembers those who lost their battle with cancer. The “Fight Back” ceremony emphasizes the shared emotional commitment to fighting cancer. And the closing ceremony recognizes the victims, survivors and, especially, the Relay participants.

Cancer does not discriminate. It can affect anyone. A Franklin minister once asked those attending a service to stand up if they had survived cancer or were related to or were close friends with someone who had cancer to stand up. Of the roughly 200 at the service, nearly half stood up.

The minister had made his point. Cancer touches many lives throughout the community.

But defeating cancer will take a concerted effort, a team effort, if you will. That’s what the Relay effort represents. People coming together to conquer cancer.

So if a Relay team member asks you to donate, think seriously about cancer’s impact and give what you can. And if you are out during one of the events, stop by and watch the Relay team members. There will be music, games and a general sense of celebration.

When our communities pull together for a common cause, great things can happen.

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