Annual Relay For Life Adjusted, Set for Saturday

Community members will still celebrate local cancer survivors and raise money for the American Cancer Society with a drive-through event in Martin, Saturday, October 3 at the Martin Recreation Complex.

WEAKLEY COUNTY (October 3) – The Weakley County Relay For Life event is set for Saturday, October 3 from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Martin Recreation Complex. This year’s event features a “Drive-Thru Survivors’ Parade” through the rec complex. Immediately following the parade will be a brief ceremony that will be streamed through the radio, allowing guests to stay in their vehicles.

Survivors will line up at 4:30 p.m. in the Westview parking lot, with the parade beginning at 5 p.m. There is also a separate drive-through luminaria display that guests are invited to view as they exit the event. Unlike prior years, this event will not last throughout the evening.

“The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we Relay, but it hasn’t stopped our mission,” commented Rachel Lovell, this year’s chair of the event. “So many things have been cancelled due to the pandemic. We still wanted to honor and remember those survivors who continue their fight, yet do it in a way that would not jeopardize their health as immune-compromised or the health of our volunteers. Drive-by parades have been successful for graduations and birthday parties, so why not use it to celebrate cancer survivors!”

With plenty of space to socially distance along the parade route, the committee is encouraging other members and groups in the community to come out and celebrate this year’s survivors.

“We want this to be a celebration! If you’d like to join us that night, grab a party hat and noise maker or make a sign of encouragement,” Lovell added.

Those who want to purchase a luminaria bag in honor or in memory of a friend or loved one to be displayed during the drive-through luminaria event are asked to visit www.relayforlife.org/weakleytn and choose “Dedicate a Luminaria.”

All survivors who want to participate in the parade, contact Elizabeth Newman, ACS (American Cancer Society) Community Development Manager, at Elizabeth.Newman@cancer.org by Friday October 2. To learn more or make a donation, visit www.relayforlife.org/weakleytn.

Since 1997, Weakley County has raised more than $2.5 million through Relay For Life for the American Cancer Society. In 2019, 34 patients in Weakley County received 401 services and 7 patients stayed a total of 158 nights at one of the Hope Lodge’s locations, saving patients in Weakley County a total of $23,700 for lodging. Currently, the ACS is funding 20 grants in Tennessee totaling more than $13 million, with a little more than $4.5 million being funded at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Now, more than ever, the American Cancer Society needs the community’s help. While the world continues to navigate through a global pandemic, cancer has not taken a back seat. COVID-19 has resulted in a huge hit to cancer patients and their families across the entire nation. If future trends continue, the impact of COVID-19 on ACS fundraising efforts will reduce the ability to fund research by 50 percent in 2020, resulting in the lowest research investment this century. It will also put new treatments and discoveries that will improve and save lives at risk.

To make a donation, visit the www.relayforlife.org/weakleytn.

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